A Digital Agenda for a future Digital Europe ?

What a better venue to debate new technologies than in the middle of 2nd World War aircrafts, cars and weapons? Gathered at the Autoworld Centre in Brussels from 16th to 17th June, together with around 1300 participants, we attended the first ever European Digital Agenda Assembly.

Envisioned as “Europe’s strategy for a flourishing digital economy by 2020” the Digital Agenda outlines  seven priority areas for action, ranging from first of all creating a digital Single Market, greater  interoperability and more investment in R&D to enhancing digital literacy skills and « greening ICT ».  These actions were at the core of the debate in each of the 24 parallel workshops running throughout the  event.

At the welcome ceremony, Neelie Kroes, Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, announced  that by 2015 “50% of European Citizens and 80% of businesses should be using online public services”.  She underlined as well, that in order to advance job creation, sustainability and social inclusion, we need  to put Europe’s citizens and businesses at the forefront of the digital revolution. Her intervention was both  inspiring and inviting participants to actively contribute to the Outcome of the Conference.

Most of the discussions at the plenary sessions and workshops, I took part in, where economically driven  and “digital single market” was one of the most popular terms, used in almost every context. The variety of speakers at each panel discussion was more or less representative of the major stakeholders and debates where relatively balanced, some interactive while others simply official statements.

Overall, even though most of the discussions where one-sided, I very much enjoyed the event as I took part actively in the online discussion. I had the opportunity to cover online two workshops and a surprisingly large amount of participants where online contributing to the Twitter Debates using Hash tag #daa11eu. Some panellists, even while on stage, were giving feedback and answering questions from the audience on Twitter. These parallel discussions made the event as a whole much more exciting thus considerably contributing to the success of the first Digital Agenda Assembly.

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Tweets to EuroDIG 2011