Neelie Kroes said: "I am glad that basic internet is now virtually everywhere in the EU, but we can't get stuck playing yesterday's game. The data shows that the biggest problem this year is the lack of investment in very fast networks, and a continuing lack of a real telecoms single market. The problem is clear and our response via a single telecoms market package will be too." Key findings in the European Commission's Digital Agenda (DAE) Scoreboard include: Internet progress: Basic Broadband is now virtually everywhere in Europe – satellite performance has improved, helping to cover the 4.5% of population not covered by fixed basic broadband. The Commission is now focused on getting better take-up of satellite where this can bridge remaining gaps. Fast broadband now reaches half the population - 54% of EU citizens have broadband available at speeds greater than 30 Mbps. Internet access is increasingly going mobile - 36% of EU citizens access the internet via a portable computer or other mobile device (access via mobile phone is up from 7% in 2008 to 27% in 2012). 4th generation mobile (LTE) coverage tripled to 26% in one year. Problem areas: Only 2% of homes have ultrafast broadband subscriptions (above 100 Mbps), far from the EU's 2020 target of 50%. 50% EU citizens have no or low computer skills – neither the amount nor the level of ICT user skills has improved over the last year. 40% of companies recruiting or trying to recruit IT specialists have difficulties in doing so and the current number of vacancies for ICT specialists has been projected to grow to 1 000 000 by 2015. The recently launched Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs will target actions toward closing this gap. Other findings: More and more have tried internet – the proportion of EU citizens having never used the internet is continuing its steady decline (down 2 percentage points to 22%). However around 100 million EU citizens have still never used the internet, declaring too high costs, lack of interest, or lack of skills as the main barriers. 70% now use the internet regularly at least once a week, up from 67% last year; 54% of disadvantaged people use the internet regularly, up from 51% last year. Roaming prices in 2012 have fallen - by almost 5 euro-cents, mainly after the 1st July 2012 Roaming regulation. eCommerce is growing steadily, but not cross-border - 45 % of individuals use the internet to buy goods and services, a moderate increase from 43% one year ago; very few buy across borders. eGovernment is now undertaken by most firms and citizens – 87% of enterprises use eGovernment and the proportion of citizens using eGovernment has also increased over the last year to 44% (both up by 3 percentage points). Research spending increased slightly despite budgetary restraints. Public R&D investment in ICT increased by 1.8% or €122 million to €6.9 billon; private R&D investment in ICT also increased, but the growth of 2.7% was not enough to recover last year's decrease.
Digital skills are fundamental to an effective use of ICT. As such every year the Commission collects data on the digital skills of the EU population through its survey of ICT use by individuals and households. Digital skills are measured by asking individuals if they have ever performed certain computer and/or internet related activities. Low, medium and high skills are then calculated by whether individuals have performed 1 or 2, 3 or 4, or 5 or 6 of the listed internet or computer activities. In 2012, data were collected on computer skills only. In the EU, 67% of individuals had some level of computer skills, unchanged from 2011: 26% of individuals had high skills (-1 p.p. over 2011), 25% medium skills (unchanged) and 16% low skills (+2 p.p.). 33% had none of the defined skills. As such almost 50% of the EU population still has little or no computer skills (low skills + none of the defined skills74). While no data on internet skills is available for 2012, data from 2011 show that similar to computer skills around 70% of the population (73%) have internet skills. However, the distribution of skills is more shifted towards low (30%) and medium (32%): only 11% had high level skills. Given the growing necessity for digital skills in Europe – in particular, the projected 90% of jobs that will soon require some digital skills - it seems much needs to be done to improve the digital skills levels of EU citizens, and the perception of more than half of the labour force that their current digital skills are not sufficient were they to look for another job.
"Regular" (at least once a week) use of the internet increased by 2 p.p., from 68% in 2011 to 70% in 2012, in the EU27; showing continued steady progress towards the Digital Agenda key performance target for regular use of 75% by 2015. Indeed, forward projection of the linear trend in regular internet user in the EU indicates that the key performance target for regular internet use will be met before 2015. Frequent (daily) use of the internet grew by 3 p.p. between 2011 and 2012 in the EU27, from 56% to 59%; showing that not only is the proportion of the population going regularly online increasing, but that it is increasingly becoming a daily activity.
Following the Employment Package of April 2012 VP Kroes called for the formation of a multi-stakeholder partnership, the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, to tackle the twin issues of a projected shortfall of up to 900,000 ICT professionals in Europe by 2015, exacerbated by a decline in computing science graduates. Hence, its aim is to increase the overall supply of digitally skilled professionals and to better match supply and demand of digital skills. On 4-5 March 2013 the Commission launched the Grand Coalition at a Conference in Brussels, which was hosted by President José Manuel Barroso Vice Presidents Neelie Kroes and Antonio Tajani, Commissioners László Andor and Androula Vassiliou as well as Richard Bruton, Irish Minister for Jobs, Entreprise and Innovation. The Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs will deliver concrete actions, which can be implemented in the short-term and have high local impact. It will build on on-going programmes and best practices that could be scaled-up. The following are some of the objectives of the actions: Improve the image and attractiveness of ICT careers Offer training packages co-designed with the ICT industry Offer more aligned degrees and curricula at vocational and university level education that will respond to the needs of the students and the industry Improve recognition of qualifications across countries by stimulating take-up of a European certification scheme for digital skills of ICT professionals, based on the existing e-Competence Framework Reduce labour market mismatches by stimulating mobility Stimulate digital entrepreneurship by liaising with Startup Europe, a single platform for tools and programmes supporting people wanting to set up and grow web start-ups in Europe The Grand Coalition will help accelerate and intensify efforts initiated by European policies, such as the Digital Agenda for Europe, the e-Skills Strategy, the Employment Package, the Opening up Education Initiative, the Rethinking Education Strategy, the Youth Opportunities Initiative, and the EU Skills Panorama.
MOOC - Massive open online course
DG Communication Networks, Content and Technology
Political Framework: Europe 2020
• Europe 2020: seven flagships
Digital Agenda for Europe
Youth on the move
An industrial policy for the globalisation era
New skills for jobs
European Platform against poverty
Resource efficient Europe
What is the Digital Agenda?
101 specific actions, including 31 legal proposals
A vibrant digital
Fast & ultra-fast Internet
Using ICT to help society
Enhancing digital literacy,
skills & inclusion
Trust & Security
Research & innovation
Basic Broadband virtually
everywhere – Fast broadband >30
Mbps reaches 54% of EU
Internet access increasingly going
mobile - 36% of EU citizens use
50% have no or low computer
skills – 40% of companies have
difficulties recruiting IT specialists
1,000,000 ICT vacancies by 2015
eCommerce growing steadily, but
An open & inclusive process
Open data from
authorities in Member
October 2013 European Council conclusions
• "the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs should be strengthened to address skills
• "a higher degree of integration of digital skills in education … should be
• "part of the European Structural and Investment Funds (2014-2020) should
be used for ICT education…",
=> Digital skills training needs to be a priority,
=> Digital skills training needs priority access to
=> Your continued support needed for national
Some relevant EU activities
Various relevant EU policies: digital, social, regional, education and culture, entreprise, internal
Youth and employment agenda
Youth Employment Initiaitve, Youth garantee
European Social Fund
Social inclusion, equal opportunities, youth employment, priority concentration, social
Employment and social innovation programme
Analytical activities, dissemination and mutual learning, support to actors, mobility of
Horizon2020/ ICT research
Call for proposals on "Young generation in an innovative, inclusive and sustainable Europe"
Call for proposals on "New forms of innovation"