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EU tech bodies call on EC to keep digital single market promise

TechUK has joined forces with European counterparts warning the European Commission not to stray from its plan to deliver a digital single market

TechUK, together with tech supplier bodies in France and Germany, are calling on the European Commission (EC) to keep its promise for an effective digital single market.

They are concerned the European Commission (EC) is moving away from its promise after recent proposals have been “overly proscriptive and fail to embrace benefits of the digital revolution”.

According to TechUK, the commission is moving off-track in a number of areas, “including the duplication of new data rules in the review of the ePrivacy Directive and worrying proposals to undermine the freedom to hyperlink through new forms of ancillary copyright”.

“This direction of travel, due for finalisation over the coming months, is anti-innovation, and risks harming rather than supporting the digital economy,” said TechUK.

The initiative is geared towards creating a single marketplace for digital services in the European Union (EU), and the commission has already outlined 16 separate areas that need to be addressed to deliver on this vision by the end of 2016.

In July 2015, the three tech bodies TechUK, Syntec Numerique and Bitkom launched an eight-priniciple guide to achieving the plan, and are now asking policymakers to use these to get “back on track to deliver the best economic news and prosperity across Europe post-Brexit”.

They also call on the EC to recognise platform companies as “engines of growth” and to resist “protectionist instincts” on data flowing across borders.

Julian David, CEO of TechUK, said tech communities across the UK, France and Germany are committed to “a smooth transition as the UK changes the nature of its relationship with the EU”.

“Digital commerce between our three countries will be fundamental as the UK forges its new future after the referendum. Challenges and opportunities lie ahead on all sides, but together we can ensure our close economic ties continue to grow for the benefit of all our economies,” he said.

A TechUK survey, published in August this year, showed that following the Brexit vote, confidence among IT firms in the growth potential of the UK over the next two years fell by 23%.

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