[ffii] Neelie Kroes' Digital Agenda is 'carrot without stick'

arebenti at ffii.org arebenti at ffii.org
Thu May 20 12:11:43 CEST 2010

[ Europe / Patents /  Innovation]
Neelie Kroes' Digital Agenda is 'carrot without stick'

Brussels, 20 May 2010 -- Yesterday EU-Commissioner Neelie Kroes disclosed
her long-expected Digital Agenda for Europe. The Digital Agenda spans a
10-year period of upcoming European Commission policies in the digital
sphere including ambitious regulatory initiatives. The FFII points out
that her strategy document falls short on good governance and open

A "Digital Agenda Assembly", an annual lobby-parliament to govern the
agenda implementation, would be composed of delegates from the European
Parliament and industry. The Assembly would bring them together to 'assess
progress and emerging challenges' and receive input from a 'High Level
Group' and 'stakeholders'.

"Neelie Kroes feeds her ambitious Digital Agenda as raw meat to lobby
groups. It is a carrot without a stick", warns René Mages from the
Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII). Mages continues,
"The Commissioner undermines the dignity of the European elected
representatives by setting them on equal footing with private interest
representatives." The FFII fears her governance principles would aggravate
the trend to keep the backbone of the European ICT sector, small and
medium-sized companies, from having significant influence in Brussels.

"Take open standards for example", comments FFII president Benjamin
Henrion. "Earlier drafts of the Commission's Digital Agenda featured 'open
standards' but interest groups managed to eliminate the phrase during
inter-service consultations. I would like Kroes to name the corporations
that were lobbying behind closed doors for a removal of open standards.
Brussels should be transparent and be willing to reveal the elephant in
the room."


EU Commission Digital Agenda website: The Commission intends to "work
closely with national governments, concerned organisations and companies."

EU Digital Agenda:

Permanent link to this press release:


Benjamin Henrion
FFII Brussels
+32-484-56 61 09 (mobile)
bhenrion at ffii.org

FFII Berlin
office at ffii.org

About FFII

The FFII is a not-for-profit association active in many  European
countries, dedicated to the development of information goods  for the
public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, open  standards.
More than 1000 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000  supporters have
entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public  policy questions
concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.

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