A Sting Exclusive: “The challenge of Society’s digital transformation”, Spanish Minister of Spain for Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria live from European Business Summit 2015

Written by Jose Manuel Soria, Minister of Spain for Industry, Energy and Tourism

José Manuel Soria is Minister of Spain for Industry, Energy and Tourism

José Manuel Soria is Minister of Spain for Industry, Energy and Tourism

The digital revolution that has accompanied the new millennium is a challenge of major social and economic dimensions. Digital infrastructures and services allow the development of a modern, innovative economic system. This transformational force affects all sectors and industries, and Europe should leverage this unprecedented opportunity for growth and job creation.

On the sixth of May, the European Commission would have presented its Digital Single Market Strategy. The strategy is a necessary step to solve Europe’s barriers to a rapid adoption of digital economy across the entire Union. The European Commission estimates that the successful implementation of a digital single market could contribute 340 billion euros to European GDP, create 3.8 million jobs and reduce the cost of public administrations by 15-20%.

But the Digital Single Market is not only about economy. It is also about fulfilling Union´s mission of building a Single Market – the free flow of goods and services, both in the physical and digital worlds. It is about Europe playing a leading role in the digital revolution with a single and distinguished voice based on European values and our acquis communautaire. It is, definitively, about securing the future of European citizens and business in the digital landscape of the 21st century.

Spain welcomes European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy. While the details of the Strategy need to be carefully analyzed and there is no doubt that vibrant debates will arise, the path signaled by the Strategy will help Europe to succeed in our digital future. It is now crucial and urgent to seek consensus in the concrete actions among the European Institutions without forgetting the need of dialogue with the rest of the stakeholders. The digital world moves fast. Europe should not be slower in taking action.

However, to reap the benefits of digital technologies Europe not only needs the completion of the Digital Single Market, but also needs a dynamic and competitive digital sector. Fostering that sector and extending the reach of digital technologies can be promoted by Member States through national strategies aligned with European frameworks. That is what Spain has been doing for the past years.

In 2013 the Government of Spain approved the Digital Agenda for Spain, a strategy for the development of the digital economy based on the Digital Agenda for Europe. Through a set of nine specific plans and a budget exceeding 2.4 billion euros, the Agenda tackles the challenges of the digital era and focuses specially on the extension of high-speed broadband networks, digitization of industry and small and medium enterprises, roll-out of digital public services and promotion of R&D in Information and Communication Technologies.

Some of the most promising results of the Agenda have occurred in the field of high-speed broadband infrastructures, which are essential to build an economy based on data, cloud and digital innovation. 2014 has been an accelerated year digital wise; a year that has brought renewed investment and competition. For example, more than 700.000 homes were covered with fiber to the home networks each month during 2014. At the end of the year, more than 15 million homes had access to fiber networks and more than 10 million homes had access to high-speed cable. I want to highlight the impact of the new General Telecommunications Act in this success. The new Act, approved by ample consensus in Parliament, facilitates network deployment, increases legal certainty and cuts red tape.

In addition, the Agenda promotes areas of great industrial and social impact. The latest initiatives of the Agenda embrace ambitious targets regarding the deployment of smart cities and the introduction of digital technologies in the educational system.

Both Europe and Spain should take advantage of the potential of this industry to generate economic growth and employment. Through the Spanish National Smart City Plan, the Government will dedicate more than 150 million euros to promote the industry around the paradigm of smart cites and to help municipalities in their transition to smart cities. In addition to support industry and cities, the plan promotes standardization, international cooperation and seeks the consensus and coordination between all sector agents and various administrations.

Digital technologies also play a key role in providing a modern education public service, and high-speed broadband is a prerequisite for that. However, in Spain only one out of ten schools has access to high-speed connections. In order to solve this challenge, the Government will invest 330 million euros co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund to provide ultrafast broadband connections to all primary and secondary schools in Spain. The program, called connected schools, will benefit more than 16,500 schools and more than 6.5 million students. This strong, nationwide commitment to modernize the education system will contribute both to close the digital divide and to foster equal opportunities, as investments will focus especially in rural and remote areas.

Spain is also gaining momentum as an entrepreneurial hub in the digital economy. Latest reports place Spain as the fourth European country in terms of deals of venture capital for technological start-ups, only behind United Kingdom, France and Germany. Some of the leading events in technology take place in Spain. Examples such as the Mobile World Congress, the International Digital Content Forum or the Smart City Expo World Congress attract entrepreneurs, investors and key players from all countries to grasp the opportunities offered by digital technologies in order to create new products and services. These events also provide a great platform to enhance collaboration between institutions and global private industry, as well as to promote the digital economy as an attractive career option for young people.

The transformation towards a digitized economy is one of the main challenges of the 21st century. Civil society, private sector and governments should work together to implement the Digital Single Market and to create a vibrant, inclusive and competitive digital economy for all. Europe’s future depends largely on the outcome of this task.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

“We always honor our words, and in that respect we expect our partners to honor their words as well”, China’s State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi highlights live from Brussels

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Guterres calls for restraint in Venezuela, Jazz Day, the importance of breastfeeding, and updates from Libya, Iran and Mozambique

ECB will be the catalyst of Eurozone’s reunification

Eurozone: Economic Sentiment Indicator recovering losses

Guinea-Bissau: Upcoming elections vital to prevent ‘relapse’ into instability, says UN envoy

End ‘shame, isolation and segregation’ of fistula sufferers, urges UN reproductive health chief

Tax revenues continue increasing as the tax mix shifts further towards corporate and consumption taxes

EUREKA @ European Business Summit 2014: Innovation across borders – mobilising national R&D funds for transnational innovation in Europe

How to make primary healthcare a favourable career choice for medical students: strategies and reflections

China invites the EU to a joint endeavor for free trade and order in the world

10 of Albert Einstein’s best quotes

MWC 2016 LIVE: BT chief aims to be at UK 5G forefront

6 things to know about press freedom around the world

Cape Town almost ran out of water. Here’s how it averted the crisis

4 radical shifts required to achieve universal health coverage worldwide

ECB: Reaching the limits of its mandate to revive the Eurozone economy

Four million Syrian children have only known war since birth: UNICEF

“CETA is a game changer for major trade agreements”. The Sting reports live from EBS 2015

MEPs adopt new Fisheries Partnership with Morocco including Western Sahara

Health Education, is it a necessity?

‘Historic moment’ for people on the move, as UN agrees first-ever Global Compact on migration

Far from a healthy Health Workforce: lack of workforce planning leaves our citizens without access to proper care

An EU Summit without purpose

Cyber attacks are shutting down countries, cities and companies. Here’s how to stop them

5 ways for business leaders to win in the 2020s

Senior UN children’s advocate says they ‘should never be targeted by violence’

A new era of computing is coming. How can we make sure it is sustainable?

Vulnerable young people must not be blamed & stigmatised for violent radicalisation

Future of EU farming: MEPs push for modern common policy with fair funding

EU car manufacturers worry about an FTA with Japan

Protests, violence in Haiti prompts international call for ‘realistic and lasting solutions’ to crisis

Girls groomed for suicide missions fight back against the extremists of Lake Chad

Flexible jobs can make work-life balance worse, a German study finds

China’s impact as a global investor; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Which countries get the most sleep – and how much do we really need?

At UN, Yemen Foreign Minister demands end to ‘Iranian-Houthi coup d’etat’

Brexit talks started with a London handicap and Brussels’ sternness

Draghi sees inflationary bubbles

DR Congo: Ebola outbreak spreads to eastern ‘no-go’ zone surrounded by rebels

Brexit Preparedness: European Commission adopts final set of “no-deal” contingency measures for Erasmus+ students, social security coordination rules and the EU budget

Is it just visa-free travel that Erdogan demands from the EU to not break the migration deal?

Thailand gave healthcare to its entire population and the results were dramatic

These cities have the best quality of life

Denmark is experimenting with ‘culture vitamins’ to lift people out of depression

Is the world living up to its climate commitments?

Children suffering ‘atrocities’ as number of countries in conflict hits new peak: UNICEF

2016 crisis update: the year of the Red Fire Monkey burns the world’s markets down

MEPs adopted measures to reconcile work and family life

“Financial crisis will not happen in China!”, the Chinese Premier underlines from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Nature is our strongest ally in ensuring global water security

Senior UN official strongly condemns Southern California synagogue attack

UN pushes for universal health care on International Day

Access to healthcare: what do we lack?

Living to 100: why we should plan for more sushi, chocolate and work

Rule of Law: European Commission takes new step to protect judges in Poland against political control

‘We face a global emergency’ over oceans: UN chief sounds the alarm at G7 Summit event

Burnout is a pandemic. Why don’t we talk more about it?

AIESEC Vlog

Juncker Plan exceeds original €315 billion investment target

UN rights expert calls for end to ‘purgatory’ of ‘international inaction’ facing Myanmar’s remaining Rohingya

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s