eco: Europe’s Digital Decade Must Move from Strategy to Action

eco calls on the forthcoming German federal government to approach Internet politics from a European perspective

  • Stronger EU monitoring of implementation in Member States welcome
  • eco Chair of the Board Oliver Süme: “Efficient digital infrastructures are the key to sustainability and sovereignty”
  • eco’s call to the new German federal government: Approach Internet politics from a European perspective

Commenting on the “Path to the Digital Decade” programme presented today by the EU Commission and the state-of-the-union address after two years of the von der Leyen Commission, eco Chair of the Board Oliver Süme has the following to say:

“The European Commission has defined ambitious goals for a digital Europe and, in recent months, has presented initial strategies for achieving these goals, including the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act, the European Green Deal, the Artificial Intelligence Act and the Data Governance Act. It is now time to have these strategies and goals converted into concrete political measures. This will also create an essential responsibility for the next German federal government.”

More European spirit, less national stand-alone approaches in Internet politics

Süme warmly welcomes the EU Commission’s plan to more closely monitor the implementation of the common European digital goals in the Member States in the future:

“European start-ups and SMEs in fields such as telecommunications or the cloud can only operate competitively in the European Single Market and survive in a global environment if there is a consistent and uniformly coordinated approach among regulators, if clear geographical responsibilities apply to companies, and if the scale of a legal division does not determine the success of a company in Europe. As such, a common European approach is essential and, for the same reasons, national stand-alone approaches must be avoided. Digital services and data must not have borders within the EU.

Common European values and standards can also have an impact beyond the Single Market. This is underlined by the increasing international awareness and importance of data protection since the adoption of the GDPR beyond European borders. And the European data infrastructure ecosystem Gaia-X also demonstrates just how powerful the European vision of digitalisation based on common standards and values can become. I definitively wish for more of this European spirit,” says Süme.

Mandate for new German federal government: top priority for gigabit network roll-out and better location conditions for data centres

In this context, the eco Chair of the Board once again points to digitalisation and high-performance digital infrastructures such as data centres as being the key to sustainable digitalisation and digital sovereignty in Europe:

“Nothing would be possible without digital infrastructures. Digital technologies make an enormous contribution to achieving the climate goals formulated by von der Leyen; corresponding solution strategies must now be developed communally and in close coordination with the industry. In concrete terms for the next German federal government, this means that the roll-out of the gigabit network must be assigned top priority and, as the backbone of digitalisation, German data centres must finally be offered competitive framework conditions. This can only be achieved with a phase-out of coal-fired power generation before 2038, a rapid roll-out of renewable energies, the inclusion of green coding approaches in the curriculum of future IT specialists, the widespread use of fibre optics and 5G technologies, and the consistent utilisation of waste heat with the help of targeted state support.”

“Digital sovereignty, sustainable digitalisation and a leading role in the digital world market can only be achieved if European policy-makers do not regard sustainability and digitalisation as polar opposites, but rather as two sides of the same coin, and if they accordingly promote and harness the potential of the digital economy,” says Oliver Süme.

Further links and information



Digital Policy Annual Outlook 2021: Sustainable Digitalisation Can Only Succeed With Sustainable Digital Policy