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PLENARY ADDRESS: MARIO MONTI
"Breaking the Barriers to a Single Cloud Market in Europe"
Mr. Mario Monti, President of the Bocconi University of Milan and first chairman of Bruegel
Mr. Mario Monti said that there are two challenges to the single market in Europe. The first is how to make Europe's single market digital. The second is economic nationalism, which has become more prevalent since the global economic crisis. For Europe, this nationalism is particularly dangerous because it questions the very essence of economic integration.
There is a noticeable integration fatigue in Europe, said Mr. Monti. "In a sense, one can say that the single market is more needed than ever at a time when it is more unpopular than ever." If we want to see remarkable and sustainable growth for the European economy, we cannot hope for budget stimuli or rely on the expectation that a depreciating Euro might generate a surge in exports, he said. "Little is left other than better exploiting the structure of the European economy through a deeper integration that could elicit more productivity, more competitiveness, and greater efficiencies."
Mr. Monti explained that one year ago the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, announced an initiative to relaunch the European Single market. Mr. Monti delivered an independent report in May on the new strategy for the single market. And, on this basis, the Single Market Act was recently presented - a series of complete proposals to proactively launch this new strategy for a more effective single market.
The digital agenda is being driven with determination, he said. According to recent estimates, the European Union (EU) could gain 4% Gross Domestic Product by stimulating fast development of the digital single market by 2020. This corresponds to a gain of almost 500 billion Euros.
Mr. Monti said that in its Europe 2020 strategy, the European Commission recognized the opportunities of digital Europe, but urgent action is necessary to remove bottlenecks that are hampering the rapid development of the digital single market. The online single market must drive the European digital agenda, and Europe's transformation into a digital economy.
Mr. Monti said that his report presented three main areas where progress is particularly necessary and urgent:
- A seamless regulatory space for telecommunications services and infrastructures including reinforcing EU-level regulatory oversight, introducing pan-European licensing, and promoting EU-level frequency allocation and administration.
- E-commerce, a pan-European online retail market including ending the fragmentation of EU consumer legislation and introducing harmonized rules for delivery, warranty, and dispute resolution; and simplifying the business environment for cross-border retail transactions, including V8E rules, the cross-border management of recycling rules, and copyright levies on planned media and equipment.
- A single market for online digital content including EU copyright law and an EU framework for copyright clearance and management; and a legal framework for EU-wide online broadcasting.
Mr. Monti said that each of these initiatives is crucial, and each are burdened with political complexities. Relaunching the single market and the digital agenda will require recreating deeply rooted convictions within the public opinion.
There are many cases, such as downloading music, where cross-border, online transactions cannot yet be completed, he said. Young Europeans view a single market on the basis of whether it delivers what they want. If an important aspect of their lives, such as downloading music, is not available to them through a single market, they may understandably turn away from supporting European integration.
Mr. Monti reinforced the cost savings available through a digital agenda and a digital single market. The cost savings are particularly important to European nations because of the stringent rules about public deficits and debts. The full deployment of a digital agenda can contribute to achieving public policy objectives at lower costs and with greater efficiency and more citizen satisfaction.
In conclusion, Mr. Monti reiterated the economic importance and the political complexities of a digital single market worthy of its name: digital and single.
Browse more GLF 2010 content:
Keynote Speakers Overview
Keynote 1 - Nelly Kroes
Keynote 2 - Nick Clegg
Keynote 3 - Steve Ballmer
Plenary address 1 - Carlos Zorrinho
Plenary address 2 - Theodoros Pangalos
Plenary address 3 - John Dalli
Plenary address 5 - Franz-Josef Pschierer