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The digital single market strategy misses the point

Chris Harding | June 5, 2015
The key to growth in digital market is a new set of standards to integrate products and services across digital platforms.

Standards enable markets. The key to unlocking further growth in the digital market is a new set of standards that will enable integration of products and services across digital platforms.

The Opportunity
Protectionism is a defence that is often adopted by communities that have been left behind by events. A better course is to take advantage of change when a market moves in a new direction. Europe can do this by putting its weight behind initiatives in digital platform standardisation.

The announced strategy does include an activity to define priorities for standards and interoperability in areas critical to the Digital Single Market, such as e-health, transport planning or energy (smart metering). Standards in these vertical areas will be helpful, but do not address the critical issue of interoperability across platforms.

The strategy's effort is spread across sixteen diverse activities, and it misses the main point. By helping to improve and grow the global digital market, the Commission can give Europe a more prominent part in it, and improve the position of European businesses. Digital platform standardisation is a new direction that will lead to market change, and Europe should use this to advantage.


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