reiterates the importance of local and regional authorities (LRAs) and the role they play in implementing the recommendations of the digital single market strategy, as they drive economic growth at local and regional level and can generate, use and manage many digital products and services.
highlights the support provided for the development of electronic communications in the internal market in order to foster dynamic and sustainable growth in all sectors of the economy, and, in this regard, points to the crucial role and potential of LRAs in the digitisation of European industry.
The opinion on "Digital Single Market: mid-term review" recommends laying the groundwork for all areas to be connected to broadband and ultra-broadband services, which will be efficient in the long term within a competitive environment, and calls on the Commission, as part of the implementation of the digital single market, to also report regularly on the progress made in bridging the digital divide, particularly at regional and local level.
It also stresses that the European Commission's new cybersecurity strategy should help improve the prevention, detection and response to cyber incidents and lead to better information sharing and coordination between Member States and the Commission against major cyber incidents; achieving this will require close cooperation in partnerships involving Member States, the EU institutions, LRAs, the private sector and civil society.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- is pleased that the European Commission has undertaken to assess the state of implementation of the digital single market strategy at this midway point; this is extremely useful for identifying the progress made so far and the measures that need to be taken in order to follow through on the commitments made and areas requiring further effort and more measures;
- notes the important role that LRAs play in providing digital services for individuals and creating and managing digital infrastructure, often as part of cross-border or interregional cooperation; these services require immediate action in order to make balanced changes with regard to barriers to cross-border online activity, including differences between Member States' laws on the organisation and operation of the public administration, contracts and copyright;
- points out that the digital single market objectives can be met only if values, society and the national economy are safeguarded from the harmful effects of cyberattacks and if fundamental values, such as freedom of expression, the right to privacy and the promotion of open, free and transparent use of cyber technologies, are upheld;
- notes that improving broadband will be instrumental in developing 5G networks – which will be important for the digitisation of the economy and society – and innovative, competitive digital services, yielding long-term benefits for the economy and society, growth, jobs and cohesion. Reiterates to this effect its call to the European Commission to complete 5G standardisation as quickly as possible, given that standards are of paramount importance for the competitiveness and interoperability of telecommunication networks.