The European Commission says member states should be supporting the technology industry to enable it to lead Europe out of recession.
The commission's plan states that "equipping Europe with high-speed internet connections is as important as building the railways in the 19th century".
A stronger public commitment to deploying high-speed internet across all of the European Union is among urgent actions necessary to stimulate demand, and make Europe more competitive to take advantage when global growth returns, said the commission.
Mark MacGann, director general of technology industry body EICTA, said, "We are glad that the commission has understood that the internet and the digital revolution need real political commitment and fiscal incentives to ensure a rapid return to growth and prosperity in Europe."
The commission supports the following:
- Ensure state aid is used to support EU objectives such as R&D, innovation, ICT and energy efficiency
- Reduce by up to 75% the fees for patent applications and maintenance and halve the cost for an EU trademark
- Accelerate investments in high-speed networks
- Proposals to reduce VAT rates for green products and services
- Member states should increase private sector R&D investments by providing fiscal incentives, grants and/or subsidies