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Digital Single Market

The Digital Single Market Strategy was presented by the European Commission in 2015 and builds on its predecessor programs, most recently the Digital Agenda for Europe 2020. Under the Austrian Council Presidency in the second half of 2018, the projects will essentially be completed.

A total of 35 legislative proposals and political initiatives were presented. Only in April 2018 further measures were submitted.

Studies (see SMART 2017) on the European data economy assume that by 2020 there will be over 10.4 million employees working with data and around 360,000 businesses just doing business with data. The economic value of the data will more than double from 2016 at around 300 billion Euro amounting to around 739 billion Euro by 2020.

Milestones so far reached:

  • Mobile roaming charges abolished in the EU since June 2017
  • Standard EU data protection from May 2018
  • Coordination of the use of the 700 MHz frequency band by the member states from 2020
  • Use of online subscriptions for films, etc. also on journeys in the EU from spring 2018
  • Network and information security - "cyber security" - from May 2018
  • Prohibition of geo-blocking expected from the end of 2018
  • Implementation of the EC e-Government Action Plan Savings of 5 billion Euros per year from 2020
  • Mandatory qualified identification from 29th September 2018 for eGovernment services
  • Barrier-free access for Internet content from 23rd September 2019 and for Internet applications from 23rd June 2021

The digital sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. Austrian companies benefit from a reduction in the fragmentation of cross-border regulation and administrative burdens. Simplification and improved legal certainty should allow start-ups in particular to accelerate growth and scaling-up in the wider single market.