-- Digital Growth to Spearhead Europe's Return to Growth and Competitiveness
LONDON, Oct. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- At today's Summit, Europe's leaders put the digital economy firmly at the top of their agenda and pointed to its central importance in driving growth, innovation and competitiveness.
"We welcome European leaders' focus on the digital economy as a key driver for growth, jobs and productivity in Europe. Investment in new telecommunications infrastructure, such as 4G, is vital to underpinning this and a supportive policy and regulatory environment must remain a top priority," said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. "The European Council has sent a strong signal on the need to promote this investment and to accelerate and complete legislative initiatives in key areas such as data protection, e-identification, payments and reducing obstacles to broadband roll-out. Together these can provide a welcome impetus to creating the right policy environment for backing digital growth, one that encourages investment, enables innovation and fosters consumer confidence."
The European Council also addressed the Commission's recent "Connected Continent" package. The GSMA urges all parties to start work as quickly as possible on more comprehensive proposals that can effectively address the underlying reasons for Europe's lagging investment in communications infrastructure.
"Long-term predictability in spectrum policy and more flexibility for spectrum rights holders is particularly important to underpin future investments. Europe has a genuine opportunity to restore its leadership in telecoms," continued Bouverot. "Without a strong and confident industry, consumers will not be well served. We must not lose sight of this. The European Council has identified other key policy areas that are central to growth such as research, innovation and skills development. We absolutely share these priorities."
With mobile now firmly entrenched in consumers' everyday lives, industry and policymakers must continue to proactively address areas such as privacy concerns. Some existing regulations have been outdated by market and technological developments, and create competitive disadvantages for European businesses in key areas such as consumer protection, network security and data protection. Leaders rightly identified the general data protection regulation as a key priority.
"We believe it is possible to achieve a framework that is both future-proof and flexible enough to allow the development of new services in Europe, while maintaining Europe's high standards in the protection of personal data and privacy. To achieve this, we need to ensure a technology neutral approach to ensure privacy is addressed, irrespective of the technology or service involved, or where a company may be located," concluded Bouverot.
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators with 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.
For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.