The DSM strategy and digitisation of europe

AuthorPetropoulos, Georgios; Marcus, J. Scott; Yeung, Timothy
Contributio n to Growth : European Digital Single Market: Deliverin g economic benefi ts to citizens and busin esses
PE 631.044 23
In this chapter, we provide context for the Digital Single Market Strategy, and more broadly for the
Digital Single Market aspirations that have been visible in the Parliament as well over many years (see
Sect ion 1.2).
As conceived in 2015, and in line with Parli ament ’s desi re t o “to boos t the e conomy through
e-commerce, while at the same time facilitating administrative and financial compliance for
businesses and em powering cust omers t hrough e-governm ent.” (Europ ean Parl iament , 2018a), the
DSM Strategy sought primarily to ameliorate barriers to cross-border e-commerc e. At t he sa me t i m e ,
it sought to strengthen emerging digital services (as we discuss in Section 2.1), including in particul ar
the deployment of fixed and wireless broadband internet access services. The evolution of these ne w
services has moved on (as we explain in Section 2.2), raising new issues that in turn provide
opportunities for further public policy interventions during the coming legislative term.
Many of the DSM Strategy legislative initiatives have to do, in way or another, with the
promotion of cross-border e-commerce. Others generate benefits by furthering
the digitisation of the EU.
E-commerce revenues in the EU are growing at some 14% per year; however, cross-
border sales lag substantially behind domestic, suggesting a substantial opportunity to do
The measures in the DSM appropriately target the areas where e-commerce merchants
or consumers have identified challenges in purchasing cross-border, based on survey results.
The transformation of the EU through digitisation appears to depend on the adoption of a
range of technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, machine learning, the
Internet of Things, and possibly blockchain.
Different analysts provide different estimates, but most of their estimates of potential
global future collective benefits from these technologies are in trillions of euro per year.
The Commission has been active in promoting these technologies, but the DSM Strategy
provides few legislative measures that specifically address them. The activities in the
next legislative term as regards the promotion of digitisation are likely to focus on needs
that were not yet obvious in 2015, many of which are not entirely clear today.

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