Growing Europe’s economy: the role of ICT

The European Commission has published a scenario-based report on how the innovative rollout of ICT can bring about economic growth.

The report, written by The Conference Board, considers two driving forces:
  • The pace of economic growth - fast or slow
  • The European digital market - fragmented or integrated
By placing these forces on a simple ‘two-by-two' axis, the report explores four possible 2017 scenarios.Scenario one - The Digital RainforestIn this scenario, an integrated Europe-wide market for ICT is able to take advantage of global improvements in the economy to compete worldwide.  In this market, rapid growth and change requires flexibility and agility and the market is likely to be characterised by constant change and disruptionScenario two - The Digital GlasshouseIn this scenario, the integrated EU marketplace is hampered by slow economic growth.  However, Europe will benefit from an internal market that functions more smoothly.Scenario three - The Digital DesertHere, slow global economic growth and a fragmented marketplace hampers the growth of the European ICT marketScenario four - The Digital SavannahIn which the EU market remains fractured but worldwide growth means many firms simply ignore the European market seeking to grow beyond Europe's bordersRecommendationsThe report calls for rapid action to ensure that the European market can maximise tis potential as the world's largest economic bloc.  A high quality and affordable infrastructure of high speed fixed and mobile broadband is vital.  At the same time, efforts to upskill the population must be improved and a regulatory environment, which supports sector growth, must be established.
"National governments and the European Commission must commit to a long-term coherent and strategic vision for the role of ICT, reforming and investing where necessary…. To further innovation and [lead] by example"
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