FSFE submits comments on the European Commission's Digital Single Market strategy
The European Commission has set a goal to make the EU's single market fit for the digital age by adopting “A Digital Single Market Strategy” which is aimed at bringing down regulatory barriers between 28 different national markets. According to the Commission, a true Digital Single Market (DSM) can be achieved by taking the following actions:
- Digitalising industry to a smart industrial system so that all industrial sectors should be able to integrate new technologies.
- Developing standards and interoperability in areas such as the "Internet of Things", cybersecurity, big data, and "cloud".
- Launching initiatives on the "free flow of data" and a European Open Science Cloud as a catalyst for growth, innovation and digitisation.
- Unlocking the benefits of high-quality e-services and advancing digital skills.
FSFE believes that Free Software is an essential prerequisite for the DSM and can provide the desired innovative potential that Europe needs in order to be successfully competitive in the global ICT market. Free Software will help to achieve the majority of goals set by the Commission in order to achieve a truly digital single market. In particular:
- By providing means to use, share, study and improve software Free Software is essential to the digitisation of all industry sectors, because it is easily accessible and enables shaping technology and digital services according to the specific needs of all actors across different industries.
- To achieve the widest interoperability between services that businesses can use and rely on, Europe needs standards that are open, minimalistic and implementable with Free Software. In order for emerging areas such as "Internet of Things", "cloud" and big data to be interoperable between industry sectors, Free Software must be implemented as early as possible.
- Free Software encourages digital thinking and promotes research that will provide high-quality e-services and, most importantly, will enhance advanced digital skills through education.
FSFE, therefore, ask the Commission to take our recommendations into consideration when pursuing the goals highlighted in the Digital Single Market strategy, and remove barriers for the widest adoption of Free Software in the EU policy.
Please read FSFE's full evaluation of the Digital Single Market Strategy.