On 19 April 2016 the European Commission published its Communication ‘ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market‘. The Communication was part of the wider ‘Digitising European Industry’ announcement on 19 April – read our blog here for full details of what was announced.
The ICT Priorities Communication thrusts into the limelight an obscure but vitally important area of policy: the setting of common technical specifications for ICT products and services, particularly those related to the ability of different devices to communicate with each other. According to the Communication, common standards that ensure interoperability between digital technologies are the foundation of an effective Digital Single Market.
The Communication identifies numerous challenges faced by the current legal framework through which technical standard setting at a European level takes place. It concedes that rising to them will require a more focused and sustained approach to standardisation by the Commission, including a greater level of political support. At stake is nothing less than the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the EU’s digital economy.
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