Bill Goodwin .
Employers believe IT skills should play a crucial role in the summit's plans to agree a common strategy to develop e-commerce in Europe.
The call to action from Growth Plus, a consortium of 500 of Europe's top IT employers, urges governments to take immediate action, by:
The call follows predictions that 1.7 million IT jobs will remain unfilled across Europe by 2003, because of a shortage of skilled workers.
Employers claim the shortage is slowing down IT adoption and damaging European competitiveness.
Ministers at the summit are expected to unveil a series of proposals to encourage the development of e-commerce, which will include issuing tenders on the Internet, increased competition between communications companies, and the introduction of common e-commerce standards.
The summit is also expected to agree plans to promote the take-up of the European Computer Driving Licence, a basic IT skills qualification following its widespread adoption in Ireland.