eco Association Publishes Agenda for European Digital Policy: Eight Key Demands of the Internet Industry for a Digital Europe

eco Chair of the Board Süme: “Europe hibernated through the first wave of the digital revolution. We must shape the next wave.”

On the occasion of the upcoming EU elections on 9 June 2024, eco – Association of the Internet Industry has published the agenda for the Digital Policy for Europe 2024 – 2029. In a total of eight fields of action, the association formulates the industry’s key demands for European digital policy in the coming legislative term.

“Many of the key decisions in the field of digitalisation are now made at EU level. The guidelines and regulations created here have a direct and profound impact on the Member States and are groundbreaking for developments and standards in the Internet industry. Against this backdrop, Europe and the Digital Single Market are of great importance to the industry,” says eco Chair of the Board Oliver Süme.

The greatest challenge is still to develop Europe into a strong and competitive digital location. “Europe hibernated through the first wave of the digital revolution. We must shape the next wave of the digital revolution,” urges Süme. The competitiveness of the European economy must be more strongly focused by the future Commission. “Policymakers must provide clear impetus for a sustainable and, above all, future-orientated Europe,” says Süme.

In addition to a uniform regulatory framework, this also requires strategies for promoting innovation and the use of innovative digital technologies such as AI in companies. As Süme goes on to say, this requires the creation of interoperable data spaces and the strengthening of sovereign and efficient digital infrastructures.

The list of tasks for the future Commission in the field of digitalisation is quite extensive. While the focus of the outgoing Commission was to pave the way for the digital transformation with a series of laws, the task should now be on accompanying its implementation into practice and enabling Europe’s economy to become a competitive player for sustainable digital technologies. The agenda developed by eco precisely addresses this.


The eight core demands of the Internet industry for a digital Europe:

  1. Further develop innovation and competition in Europe

The EU must promote the international competitiveness of Europe as a digital centre and establish modern technologies on the European market. As part of this, data usage must be simplified, e.g. through the development of interoperable data spaces. The Data Strategy creates the basis for this.

  1. Sovereign use and development of technology

Europe must see AI as an opportunity. The creation of interoperable data spaces and the standardisation and norm setting of the Digital Single Market are essential in this context. The Commission, European institutions and the Member States must drive forward the use of digital technologies more decisively.

  1. Resilient extension of digital infrastructures in Europe

The open, interoperable and decentralised structure of the Internet must be maintained. At the same time, it is important to promote the accelerated expansion of self-sufficient networks and to shape network expansion and infrastructure migration in an innovation and consumer-friendly manner. Net neutrality must be maintained in the EU, while legal clarity must be established for all players in the Internet industry. The EU must make telecommunication networks and digital infrastructures resilient and implement existing rules for IT security.

  1. Promotion of the Internet with responsibility

For decades, eco has been promoting the principle of “deletion instead of blocking”. In order to maintain a secure Internet, the institutions within the EU must make better use of the synergies between hotlines, law enforcement and investigating authorities. This also requires sustainable state support for hotlines. In addition, self-regulation and self-control must be internationally compatible, while age-appropriate access to Internet content must be strived for.

  1. Protecting civil rights in the digital world

Only through broad and unimpeded access to the Internet can citizens receive reliable information and a variety of perspectives. Maintaining the technical core infrastructure is essential. Society, the economy and policymakers must work together to find ways to combat disinformation and cybersecurity incidents. At the same time, citizens’ personal data must be secure online. The EU Commission must therefore regulate the handling of personal data. If the forthcoming legislative term continues to focus on the implementation of an ePrivacy Regulation, the provisions contained therein should enable strong data protection in the telecommunications sector, and at the same time regulate the possibilities for processing metadata in a standardised manner that is practicable for the economy.

  1. Sustainable shaping of European digitalisation

The EU must drive forward digitalisation’s contribution to climate protection. This includes the expansion and availability of renewable energies and uniform sustainability indicators for resource-efficient digitalisation. Simultaneously, electricity prices must be made manageable for the Internet industry. Conserving resources with the help of circular economies and efficient software should be prioritised in the EU.

  1. Modernising Europe – digitising institutions and administration, pooling competencies in the Commission

The Single Market must be strengthened as the cornerstone of the European economy and Europe must remain as a strong international partner. To achieve this, the EU must improve legal coherence and make the European administration more efficient through digitalisation.

  1. Digital living, learning and working

Digitalisation must be seen as a means of making work more flexible. To make this possible, the Commission and Member States must adapt labour law provisions and promote the teaching of digital skills across Europe.


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