15 Nov 2014 Moving towards more debates on digital issues in the European Parliament
Eurosmart welcomes the creation of a new Intergroup on Digital Agenda which will constitute a new forum for debates between MEPs and external stakeholders
On Thursday the 11th of December, the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament officially approved the list of the 28 intergroups to be launched for the five coming years. Intergroups serve as forums for Members of the European Parliament to exchange – together and with external stakeholders – on topics of importance which are not directly addressed by a constituted Committee. Even though Intergroups have no legislative power, they create yet another key link between decision makers and the civil society. These 28 elected topics are the result of long discussions and compromises between the different political groups and represent key political priorities for the MEPs. Among the few topics chosen, Eurosmart is very pleased to see the creation of a “Digital Agenda” Intergroup. To Oyvind Rastad, President of the association, the creation of a Digital Agenda Intergroup is a very good sign given by the European Parliament, as well as a good signal sent to the European Commission. “The European Parliament is giving the right answer to the recent initiatives taken by the new Commission. Through the constitution of its team – with a Vice-President in charge of the Digital Single Market and a Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society – and the announcement of its investment plan in favour of the digital world, President Jean-Claude Juncker has clearly put the digital issues at the heart of its European strategy. With the creation of the Digital Agenda Intergroup, Members of the European Parliament show they are on the exact same line, willing to hold high quality debates on these topics of major importance”. Oyvind Rastad insisted on a key topic to be addressed by the Members of the Intergroup that is trust in the digital world: “Enabling trust is the only way to allow the practical adoption of innovative and cost-effective ways to communicate, pay, travel, do business, vote… Trust is the key to unlock the potential of the digital economy and to encourage citizens and businesses to step in the digital world”. Oyvind Rastad concluded: “In the recent years, we have noticed an increasing interest for digital topics within the European Parliament and a strong demand by MEPs for background information from external stakeholders. The recently adopted regulation on Electronic Identification and Trust Services, the Data Protection package, the EU Cloud Computing Strategy are few of many examples. The Digital Agenda Intergroup should not only foster debates, but should also allow MEPs to stay abreast of emerging and future technological trends and ensure the consistency of legislations with societal needs, economic prospects and with state-of-the-art technologies”.