It is hard to imagine life without modern telecommunications systems and the Internet, and the technological benefits of the digital age seem to be just beginning. However, the Internet poses considerable political, social and economic challenges.
What digital world do we want?
The strength of the Internet lies in its open, distributed nature. A resilient, secure and robust Internet and the protection of fundamental rights online are essential to build user trust. The European digital economy must take full advantage of the innovation power of the Internet.
The vision of the European Commission is summarised in the COMPACT concept: the Internet as a space of civic responsibilities. It would be one unfragmented resource governed through a multi-stakeholder approach to promote democracy and human rights. The Internet would be based on sound technological architecture that encourages confidence and facilitates transparent governance of the underlying infrastructure and the services which run on top of it.
What are our goals?
- To defend and promote fundamental rights and democratic values, using a model that enables the participation of all stakeholders.
- To ensure that Europe plays a leading role in this area, reaching out to developing countries and maintaining an inclusive dialogue with all players.
- To ensure that international rules are in line with EU legislation and policy.
- To engage in capacity-building in countries and regions that need help to understand and deal with Internet-related policies. In this context, the creation of the Global Internet Policy Observatory will play a key role as a resource for the global community.
- To ensure everyone sees the benefits of a bottom-up and inclusive approach to the governance of the Internet.
The European Commission actively engages at international level to discussions on the evolution of global internet and telecommunications. This action is carried out in various international organisations, fora and technical bodies.
As more countries are inspired by the European digital model, European companies have more opportunities to do business, creating more jobs for citizens.
The European Commission works closely with third countries geographically close to the European Union.
The digital transformation offers Africa tremendous opportunities.
The Global Internet Policy Observatory (GIPO) is an online platform aimed at making it easier to understand the influence and the development of the Internet.
Regional and bilateral relations focus on market access for European companies and on promoting a sound and transparent regulatory global environment.
The EU seeks to advance the European approach to the digital transformation through agreements reached with international organisations and fora.
Asia is a vibrant economic region of the world, with dynamic markets and a strong innovation capacity.
The digital economy & society is now firmly part of the agenda for the EU's relations with the Americas.