Digital Agenda

The Council, thought its Digital Agenda Commission, should play an active part in promoting and advocating the role of innovation and ICT in the Danube region.The role of innovation and ICT in the Danube Region

Our life and work is heavily influenced by the new technologies, however we have not used them adequately to address societal challenges. Still some 30% of Europeans do not fully benefit from information society. They are not online, they do not have the digital skills. Many of them are elderly, people with low income, low education, or disabled. Such challenges are even more pronounced in the Danube Region.

ICT, combined with technological and non-technological innovation, has a great potential to address these challenges. Additionally, it is relevant for all generations and all social groups. Impact can only be achieved by the combination of sound policy-making and drive from researchers and entrepreneurs on the field. Key success factors for that are (i) European teamwork, (ii) full consideration to users and their real needs, and (iii) maintaining a market perspective.Countries in the Danube basin could further benefit from new sources of growth, cohesion and sustainability. In particular, broadband coverage and penetration should be extended, especially in rural areas. Existing initiatives in areas such as e-government, e-health, e-education, e-commerce and e-inclusion should be expanded and reinforced.

Florin Lupescu, Director ICT for Societal Challenges DG Information Society and Media, European Commission