Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Liikanen promotes 'A strong e-economy for all in Europe'.

Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner for Enterprise and the Information Society, promised the European Commission will do everything it can to ensure a strong e-economy for Europe, at a speech delivered on 23 February 2000 at the second E-agenda for Business seminar held in Brussels, ...
Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner for Enterprise and the Information Society, promised the European Commission will do everything it can to ensure a strong e-economy for Europe, at a speech delivered on 23 February 2000 at the second E-agenda for Business seminar held in Brussels, Belgium.

'Europe is in the middle of an economic revolution,' he said. 'This is the time for a call for action to both the private and the public sector in Europe. We must work for a strong European e-economy which realises electronic services for the benefit of all.'

Since 1994 the European Union has been committed to the Information Society, he said, and has been taking a leading position in promoting electronic commerce since 1997.

Work began with the European Initiative in Electronic Commerce, and will shortly be followed by an Electronic Commerce Directive. The completion of an enabling legislative framework at EU level is also underway, although Mr Liikanen warned against being over prescriptive. He said self-regulation and technology must be developed in partnership with the public and private sector to ensure trust and confidence in electronic commerce.

Other initiatives include the ongoing Communications Review ensuring healthy competition in telecommunications services, Copyright and Data Protection initiatives and a multi-annual action plan adopted in 1999 to provide incentives for the safer use of the Internet.

'From this year onwards we foresee stepping up further our commitment to accelerating electronic commerce or the e-economy in Europe. This includes the recent eEurope initiative to bring the benefits of the information society within reach of all in Europe. We need to push the frontiers of electronic commerce further by exploring the future of technology and business models in the Information Society Technologies programme,' said Mr Liikanen.

However taxation, crime prevention and the jurisdiction and application of law pose challenging questions that are yet to be resolved.

The Finnish Commissioner pointed to three challenges that the EU must address if electronic commerce is to develop to its full potential in Europe. In the short term, Europe must catch up with the United States in the take-up of electronic commerce which must be made suitable for (and an integrated part of) business and daily life. Finally, Europe must maintain its advantage in mobile telephony, which Mr Liikanen said would be the future of electronic commerce.

He said the explosion of the Internet and electronic commerce presents Europe with new challenges as it progresses from the industrial to the information or knowledge society.

'We are at a breakpoint in economic history. Dealing with the changes requires that we put together all resources and insights from business, politics, research and technology.

'For those who might be tempted to think so: there is no brake that can be applied to slow down the change which technology will continue to drive. The Internet and electronic commerce force us to re-think many of our policies and indeed, our own organisation.

'Our vision is now to create a strong European e-economy in the global economy. Europe can become a leader in "electronic commerce and services for all"'.

Source: European Commission Press and Information Service

Related information

Programmes

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top