Huawei - For a better connected Europe

How many European Commissioners does it take to get grandma online? 28. Now don’t expect a punchline – this is not a joke.

The publication of the names and portfolios of the proposed Juncker Commission this Wednesday ended weeks of speculation. While the Commissioners-designate will have a few more hurdles to overcome as the European Parliament scrutinises and finally votes on Juncker’s candidates, we now have a digital roadmap.

The shape and structure of the new College outlined by President-elect Juncker gives a clear indication of how he intends to achieve a connected digital single market. Much to our delight, it matches Huawei’s vision of digital policy-making. A few months ago, I posted about hardwiring digital into all policy-making activities: the new Commission organigram is translating this idea into portfolios and project teams.

To take a closer look at how this will trigger concrete results, let’s get back to the idea of getting grandma online – or, to elaborate on this idea, to enable people of all ages, men and women alike, to easily access high-speed internet, wherever they may live; to provide them with the skills they need to make full use of it; and to ensure that the services they need are available online.

Achieving this requires, of course, decisive action by the future Commission Vice-President in charge of the digital single market. But he cannot succeed without his ‘project team’.

Creating mobile applications that provide health care services for the elderly, for instance, requires progress in a broad range of areas. It requires research into new solutions and technologies. Skilled developers and ICT job opportunities for men and women. Working environments that foster innovation and new ways of thinking. A business environment that enables firms to take their activities online and across borders, safely and at reasonable cost. High-speed mobile connectivity reaching into the most remote rural areas. And learning opportunities for those not born into the digital age.

The competence for driving progress in these areas will be spread over the portfolios of the Commissioners in charge of research & innovation, education, employment & skills, gender equality, the digital economy, health & safety, industry & entrepreneurship, and of regional policy.

Even portfolios outside Juncker’s project team for a connected digital single market have a digital edge: a company like Huawei could not make such a substantial contribution to ICT in Europe without appropriate international agreements and trade policies. The ICT industry has a major impact on the future development of transport and the environment. And so on.

At Huawei, our strategy for building a better connected Europe mirrors this integrated approach. We conduct cutting-edge research to develop solutions that fit the needs of tomorrow’s Europe. We work with our European partners to bring the benefits of next generation mobile technologies such as 5G to Europeans. We seek deep engagement with the local business environment. Our Telecom Seeds programme enables young Europeans to hone the skills they need to succeed in a globalised, technology-driven marketplace. And finally, we work to ensure that the progress we achieve together is sustainable.

According to Mr Juncker, we can generate up to €250 billion of additional growth in Europe by 2019 by creating a digital single market. At Huawei’s Brussels Office, we are excited to start working with the new teams to turn these ambitious plans into reality.

– Tony Graziano, Vice-President of Huawei’s EU Public Affairs Office

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