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Digital Single Market for Europe: Commission sets out 16 initiatives to make it happen

Brussels, 06 May 2015

The Internet and digital technologies are transforming our world – in every walk of life and in every line of business. Europe must embrace the digital revolution and open up digital opportunities for people and businesses. How? By using the power of the EU’s Single Market. Today, the European Commission unveiled its detailed plans to create a Digital Single Market, thereby delivering on one of its top priorities.

At present, barriers online mean citizens miss out on goods and services: only 15% shop online from another EU country; Internet companies and start-ups cannot take full advantage of growth opportunities online: only 7% of SMEs sell cross-border (see Factsheet for more figures). Finally, businesses and governments are not fully benefitting from digital tools. The aim of the Digital Single Market is to tear down regulatory walls and finally move from 28 national markets to a single one. A fully functional Digital Single Market could contribute €415 billion per year to our economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

The Digital Single Market Strategy adopted today includes a set of targeted actions to be delivered by the end of next year (see Annex). It is built on three pillars: (1) better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe; (2) creating the right conditions and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services to flourish; (3) maximising the growth potential of the digital economy.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Today, we lay the groundwork for Europe’s digital future. I want to see pan-continental telecoms networks, digital services that cross borders and a wave of innovative European start-ups. I want to see every consumer getting the best deals and every business accessing the widest market – wherever they are in Europe. Exactly a year ago, I promised to make a fully Digital Single Market one of my top priorities. Today, we are making good on that promise. The 16 steps of our Digital Single Market Strategy will help make the Single Market fit for a digital age.

Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: “Our Strategy is an ambitious and necessary programme of initiatives that target areas where the EU can make a real difference. They prepare Europe to reap the benefits of a digital future. They will give people and companies the online freedoms to profit fully from Europe’s huge internal market. The initiatives are inter-linked and reinforce each other. They must be delivered quickly to better help to create jobs and growth. The Strategy is our starting point, not the finishing line.

Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Günther H. Oettinger said: “Our economies and societies are going digital. Future prosperity will depend largely on how well we master this transition. Europe has strengths to build on, but also homework to do, in particular to make sure its industries adapt, and its citizens make full use of the potential of new digital services and goods. We have to prepare for a modern society and will table proposals balancing the interests of consumers and industry.

The Digital Single Market Strategy sets out 16 key actions under 3 pillars which the Commission will deliver by the end of 2016:

Pillar I: Better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe

The Commission will propose:

1. rules to make cross-border e-commerce easier. This includes harmonised EU rules on contracts and consumer protection when you buy online: whether it is physical goods like shoes or furniture; or digital content like e-books or apps. Consumers are set to benefit from a wider range of rights and offers, while businesses will more easily sell to other EU countries. This will boost confidence to shop and sell across borders (see Factsheet for facts & figures).

2. to enforce consumer rules more rapidly and consistently,by reviewing the Regulation on Consumer Protection Cooperation.

3. more efficient and affordable parcel delivery. Currently 62% of companies trying to sell online say that too-high parcel delivery costs are a barrier (see the newly released Eurobarometer on e-commerce).

4. to end unjustified geo-blocking – a discriminatory practice used for commercial reasons, when online sellers either deny consumers access to a website based on their location, or re-route them to a local store with different prices. Such blocking means that, for example, car rental customers in one particular Member State may end up paying more for an identical car rental in the same destination.

5. to identify potential competition concerns affecting European e-commerce markets. The Commission therefore launched today an antitrust competition inquiry into the e-commerce sector in the European Union (press release).

6. a modern, more European copyright law: legislative proposals will follow before the end of 2015 to reduce the differences between national copyright regimes and allow for wider online access to works across the EU, including through further harmonisation measures. The aim is to improve people’s access to cultural content online – thereby nurturing cultural diversity – while opening new opportunities for creators and the content industry. In particular, the Commission wants to ensure that users who buy films, music or articles at home can also enjoy them while travelling across Europe. The Commission will also look at the role of online intermediaries in relation to copyright-protected work. It will step up enforcement against commercial-scale infringements of intellectual property rights.

7. a review of the Satellite and Cable Directive to assess if its scope needs to be enlarged to broadcasters’ online transmissions and to explore how to boost cross-border access to broadcasters’ services in Europe.

8. to reduce the administrative burden businesses face from different VAT regimes: so that sellers of physical goods to other countries also benefit from single electronic registration and payment; and with a common VAT threshold to help smaller start-ups selling online.

Pillar II: Creating the right conditions and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services to flourish

The Commission will:

9. present an ambitious overhaul of EU telecoms rules. This includes more effective spectrum coordination, and common EU-wide criteria for spectrum assignment at national level; creating incentives for investment in high-speed broadband; ensuring a level playing field for all market players, traditional and new; and creating an effective institutional framework.

10. review the audiovisual media framework to make it fit for the 21st century, focusing on the roles of the different market players in the promotion of European works (TV broadcasters, on-demand audiovisual service providers, etc.). It will as well look at how to adapt existing rules (the Audiovisual Media Services Directive) to new business models for content distribution.

11. comprehensively analyse the role of online platforms (search engines, social media, app stores, etc.) in the market. This will cover issues such as the non-transparency of search results and of pricing policies, how they use the information they acquire, relationships between platforms and suppliers and the promotion of their own services to the disadvantage of competitors – to the extent these are not already covered by competition law. It will also look into how to best tackle illegal content on the Internet.

12. reinforce trust and security in digital services, notably concerning the handling of personal data. Building on the new EU data protection rules, due to be adopted by the end of 2015, the Commission will review the e-Privacy Directive.

13. propose a partnership with the industry on cybersecurity in the area of technologies and solutions for online network security.

Pillar III: Maximising the growth potential of the digital economy

The Commission will:

14. propose a ‘European free flow of data initiative‘ topromote the free movement of data in the European Union. Sometimes new services are hampered by restrictions on where data is located or on data access – restrictions which often do not have anything to do with protecting personal data. This new initiative will tackle those restrictions and so encourage innovation. The Commission will also launch a European Cloud initiative covering certification of cloud services, the switching of cloud service providers and a “research cloud”.

15. define priorities for standards and interoperability in areas critical to the Digital Single Market, such as e-health, transport planning or energy (smart metering).

16. support an inclusive digital society where citizens have the right skills to seize the opportunities of the Internet and boost their chances of getting a job. A new e-government action plan will also connect business registers across Europe, ensure different national systems can work with each other, and ensure businesses and citizens only have to communicate their data once to public administrations, that means governments no longer making multiple requests for the same information when they can use the information they already have. This “only once” initiative will cut red tape and potentially save around €5 billion per year by 2017. The roll-out of e-procurement and interoperable e-signatures will be accelerated.

Next steps:

The Digital Single Market project team will deliver on these different actions by the end of 2016. With the backing of the European Parliament and the Council, the Digital Single Market should be completed as soon as possible.

The Digital Single Market will be on the agenda of the European Council meeting on 25-26 June.

For more information:

Documents adopted today:

Communication – A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe

Staff Working Document – A Digital Single Market Strategy – Analysis and Evidence


Questions and Answers on the Digital Single Market Strategy (MEMO)

Why we need a Digital Single Market

28 National Country Factsheets

Other useful links:

Webpage on the Digital Single Market (#DigitalSingleMarket)

Digital Single Market Strategy: European Commission agrees areas for action (25 March 2015)

How digital is your country? New figures reveal progress needed towards a digital Europe (24 February 2015)

Webpage of Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip (@Ansip_EU)

Webpage of Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Günther H. Oettinger (@GOettingerEU)

President Juncker’s political guidelines

Commission Work Programme 2015


Annex I: Roadmap of initiatives

Annex II: The three pillars of the Digital Single Market

SmartCity proposal towards Slovene government_May 2015


ZI_12509ZI_12600ZI_12918ZI_12373EuroCloud Slovenia announces Smart City proposal towards Slovene government

Within the preparations for Slovene Smart Specialization call for projects, which is the base for structural funds 2014-2020, the largest cities in Slovenia (Ljubljana, Maribor and Koper) have joint forces with the Slovene innovation hub, represented by Competence Centers of Slovenia (, where technologies such as Cloud Computing, Internet of Things and Advanced Control Technologies are merged with Smart and Sustainable and Innovative Construction Technologies, built on top of the competences within these cross-technology fields, to enable key technology players to interconnect with other EU Smart City initiatives, such as the Connected Smart City initiative Presentation has been delivered during event, organized by Government office for development and European regional policy as invited project proposal within SmartCities and communities panel- see HERE

See our project proposal presentation  HERE

Three key differentiators of the proposal are:

  1. The main goal of the proposal stretches across a software layer that will include newly developed concepts, a complete architecture of software and concrete implementation that will be developed within European standard.
  2. We plan to develop additional controls within already existing EuroCloud Star Audit certificate scheme, with which we specifically aim to bring digital service maturity model within domain of SmartCities servicesm and support Slovene industry players to take part within global value-chains.
  3. On the basis of this comprehensive development, the proposal will incorporate newly developed concepts and solutions into the various standards, which will be incorporated into standardisation of this field through the ISO SmartCities work groupwhere we will add descriptions of key concepts within smart cities and thus influence the establishment of key concepts and relevant technological components, but also market and social demands for ICT standardization within this domain.

The lead partner of the proposal, EuroCloud Slovenia, has gathered 26 key players coming from Slovene industries, all 3 Slovene Universities, the biggest Slovene research institute, and main Slovene cities to be part of this coalition.

Slovenia’s Smart Specialization program 2020 projects smart communities as one of the most important investment areas with future development potential, where Slovenia would look for global niches within new value-chains.

In spring 2014 the consortium has previously provided to the Slovene Government Office for Development and European cohesion policy a roadmap of how we tend to involve technologies, talented people present within city environments, and users on the city level as well, to be part of Smart City pilot projects, which will to develop within the 2014-2020 period.

Within this roadmap we have seen cross technology areas, which are part of technology pool, such as cloud computing, Internet of Things, sustainable and smart-buildings of the future, smart-grids, etc.

On the social challenges fields the consortium will focus towards EU smart cities, energy efficiency on the city level, climate goals, and sustainable city developments based on new technologies.

The model of Slovene Smart City initiative is built on 6 pillars, aligned to the EU Smart City vision:

Smart economy: Economy represents one of three key areas of sustainable developments based on economy driven ecosystem, enabling creativity, innovation and collaboration towards new jobs. Once this eco-system partners work hand in hand, economy models on local but also on global scale of economy change, as new global opportunities arise via new innovative business models. Local industry gets involved as well, start-ups get involved as well and internationalization becomes key economy driver, new investments readiness gets higher visibility through by local players.

Smart environment: lower energy consumption is one of key goals future cities have to dedicate their activities/programs/services. By that we mean from smarter lightning systems to alternative energy usage enablement, optimize power consumption based on distributed power provider systems of alternative energy sources, such as solar energy, etc. Other very important field of smart environment is smart planning of resources, such as water consumption, loss control, waste management and recycling capabilities, pollution control, connected with smart mobility, smart buildings, connected with smart city environment via new technology enablement in smart city environment, based on sharing data on city/community level, provided by city authorities, based on infrastructure sharing, etc.

Smart management: presents efficient and transparent public services, which enable safe and stable environment for business and industry development with enablement of public collaboration of managing cities (public proposal offering, open innovation platforms, etc). It means simpler, ICT supported public services for citizens. Smart management is enabled via e-services, which have public interfaces towards users. E-services on all levels enables paperless communication, supports better mobility and quickens city processes. It opens the fields of open innovation, where citizens are invited to participate within the transformation into smart-city. Also innovation management support is crucial to bring innovation as part of core system, which enables new smart city services in place, which a close to real needs. Terms like open data, open processes and open services get in use at this point, which support transparency, collaboration and participation, which in the end brings new innovative solutions into real life situations.

Smart living: On the level of individual and the quality of his life at home and outside, public need of the citizen need to be addressed. Therefore it is important that we enable innovation potential on personal level in the fields of health, security and wellbeing. Special car needs to be considered towards elderly people, which is getting bigger and bigger, due to long-life, which again, gives a huge potential of bringing new innovative services towards elderly people especially in respect to their health-care, which needs to be enabled from their home, based on their personal needs, which will in the future even be more important due to demographic changes. Furthermore, smart-living also means information on a specific situation you might be in at current time, which is relevant for you at that time, which can also influence on the quality of living in city environment at important events, such as accidents, social events, activities important to your lifestyle and age, etc. And in the end also bring all this information into your homes, to ease the living within our homes, houses, apartments within smart home environment.

Smart mobility: Mobility is a key element of successful city life, therefore optimization of traffic is of utmost importance. Smart mobility wants to get to very smooth traffic within city centres, lower personal traffic need and use public transportation means instead, integrated multimodality is key aspect, which can help extensively towards this goal, meaning integration of different public transportation means (time management, integrated tickets for all public transportations within one area, integration of all information on public transportation services). In the end this means transformation of public transport services, which becomes much more citizens friendly and time and also economic efficiency becomes very important in comparison towards private car transportation. To enable such as transportation system, one must think of developing better and much more real time traffic control in respect to lowering the traffic jams, car accidents and consequently quicker response mechanisms for avoiding jams on your way.

Smart society: smart society is a society, which needs collaboration with others an also new ways of learning experiences. It proposes open space collaboration places where people can meet and exchange new creative ideas on all levels of education. Smart society is targeting toward raising the technological competences of people, leaving within city, better access to internet and usage of digital technologies into learning processes – it is open and inclusive society, adopted to their citizens as well as tourists (different services, multilingual services, etc); the main vision here is to enable social and cultural gathering, which enables support to individuals and create environment for creativity and cooperation. From the social point of view smart society means cooperative society, which embraces differences and intercultural dialog and open mind creativity.

Basic conditions for smart city environment is technological environment, which needs to consist of:

–        Scalable sensorial network, which can be controlled efficiently and is two-way communication enabled (internet of things

–        Scalable program modular platform, which enables complex data analysis (analysis of huge sets of multimodal real-time datasets (hi-performance computing – HPC) from the user perspective it runs in the cloud

–        High speed network connectivity (wireless, other)

–        Interoperability and integration of interfaces which enable connectivity with sensors, IOT devices, internal and external services and applications and systems

–        Monitoring control and KPI control enablement and metric for information delivery

–        Open authentication and authorisation mechanisms

–        Human-computer interaction systems

Targeted impact

If smart city’s vision is to provide smart and sustainable components in place, on the level of individual buildings one most provide components, which are:

–        Energy efficient, from the user as well as provider viewpoint

–        Comfort to people living in buildings

–        Building block, which are coming from materials, enabling long term sustainability of a city

–        Strong clean environment policy support towards city sustainability

–        Services, which enable interconnection on the city level

“Smart city outputs within proposal therefore consist of:

–        “Open datasets”, which enable wider user under secure measure in place, which support safe data exchange

–        development platform (PaaS – development tools), which will serve public usage for integration between services and interoperability of those services, which enable big data management of all events within (“SmartCity” ecosystem)

–        set of public services, which deliver data towards user in user context way towards citizens on all level of city living

–        a city with lower energy consumption due to efficient consumption management in place

–        a city with high energy independency (city energy performance certificate)

–        city with high usage of alternative materials with low impact on environment (smart waste recycling, higher usage of renewable materials)

–        public services, which enable optimized city management; efficient two-way communication enablement (between city management and city residents)

–        Synergy between services, managed directly by city management with so called secondary services, which enhance the experience of resident or tourist, such as “smart taxi services”, etc

Other collaborations on SmartCity in EU

EuroCloud Slovenia works closely with Connected SmartCities network, which supports strong FiWare technology enablement of EU Cities to develop a partnership on this topic:

We have implemented action items of EU Commission’s work into this proposals in the area of open data and SmartCities opportunities – When you look to the EU Commission’s work in the area of open data, they are focussing on generating value through re-use of a specific type of data – public sector information, sometimes also referred to as government data. That is all the information that public bodies produce, collect or pay for. Examples are: geographical information, statistics, weather data, data from publicly funded research projects, and digitised books from libraries.

They support open data for 4 reasons:

–        Public data has significant potential for re-use in new products and services;

–        Addressing societal challenges – having more data openly available will help us discover new and innovative solutions;

–        Achieving efficiency gains through sharing data inside and between public administrations;

–        Fostering participation of citizens in political and social life and increasing transparency of government.

Open call towards Slovenian cities

What 3 biggest Slovene cities (Ljubljana, Maribor, Koper) propose to Slovene authorities, can be seen here

Open & Agile Smart Cities presentation in Slovenia -> Brynskov-Dalibor_OASC-presentation

  • Global initiative
  • Driven by cities
  • 3+1 mechanisms
  • 2 cities/country
  • 1 year
  • OASC Task Force

OPEN & AGILE Smart Cities

CSC Network Board

C–Martin Brynskov – DK / Network / Aarhus

VC–Pieter Ballon – BE / Brussels

VC–Katalin Gallyas – NL / Amsterdam

VC–Jarmo Eskelinen – FI / Helsinki

Juanjo Hierro – ES / Network

Dan Hill – UK / Network / London

Luis Muñoz – ES / Santander

Álvaro de Oliveira – PT / Network

Martin Serrano – IE / Galway

7 out of 10

7 out of 10 will live in cities by 2050 (UN). 80 % of the total economic activities will be In China. 20 million new inhabitants


More 80 % of the total economic activities GDP generate  sustainability  currently and related urban areas  World bank


Collective yearly buying power of cities.

City making in the age of digital transition

Smart cities need

  • Interoperability (Interoperability is needed on all levels to avoid vendor lock in. Standards needs to be demand driven generated by the cities and the citizens)
  • Standards

Digital Single Market

–         EU commission Strategy from 6th of may 2015 –


Open & Agile Smart Cities

  1. APIs
  2. FiWare
  3. Standard DataModel (CitySDKs)
  4. Linked OpenData Platforms

1st wave:

Finland: Helsinki, Tamsere, Oulu, Espoo, Vantaa, Turku;

Denmark-Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg;

Spain – Valencia, Santander, Malaga, Sevilla;

Belgium-Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp;

Italy – Milan, Palermo, Lecce;

Portugal – Lisbona, Porto, Penala, FundAo, Palmela, Algueda;

Braziil-Loinda, Anapolis, Porto Alegre, Vitoria Colinas de Tocantins, Taquaritinga

Open & Agile Smart Cities 2015 roadmap and OASC&EuroCloud invitation towards Slovene cities

  1. The 2nd wave is now open, with the deadline of June 5, 2015.You can read about the launch of the 1st wave on March 16, 2015, where 31 cities from 7 countries in Europe and Brazil joined.
  2. The 3rd wave will soon be open. Announcement of Slovene cities joining will be made by our partner organization, Zavod e-Oblak (alias EuroCloud Slovenia), during the Bled conference, 5th and 6th of November 2015Follow us on
  3. Hope to see you at SmartCity World Expo in Barcelona http://www.smartcityexpo.comwhere Connected EU Open&Agile SmartCities will come together, 17th to 19th of November

Cloud computing for business yet to go mainstream in the EU

This article presents recent statistics on enterprises’ use of cloud computing services in the European Union (EU). In principle, cloud computing involves two components, a cloud infrastructure and software applications. The first consists of the hardware resources required to support the cloud services being provided and typically includes server, storage and network components. The second component refers to software applications and computing power for running business applications, as provided via the internet by third parties.

Findout more here

Computer weekly

A European Union-funded project called Cloudcatalyst has been set up to assess the current cloud computing market in Europe, identify barriers to cloud adoption and provide tools to boost its growth in the region.

The project aims to instill confidence in European businesses, public entities, ICT providers and other cloud stakeholders eager to develop and use cloud services.

It will create “a strong and enthusiastic community of cloud adopters and supporters in Europe”, according to Cordis, the European Commission’s project funding arm.

According to the EC, cloud computing is a “revolution” but its providers are still struggling to captivate and build trust among businesses and everyday citizens. “Cloud-sceptics” are concerned over data security and legal exposure and a lack of information around cloud is hindering its adoption.

The Cloudcatalyst project will tackle this issue by providing useful tools to foster the adoption of cloud computing in Europe and to boost the European cloud market, according to Cordis, the European Commission’s primary public repository that gives information about EU-funded projects.

The project, which is funded by FP7 – the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development – will target all cloud players. These include software developers, members of the scientific community developing and deploying cloud computing services, incubators at the local, national and European levels, large industries, SMEs, startups and entrepreneurs.

With a total budget of over €50bn, the project will primarily analyse practices across Europe and identify the conditions for a successful adoption.

“We will cover all the main issues around cloud and give a clear overview on a number of topics, such as current cloud trends, critical success factors to overcome major technical barriers, data privacy and compliance requirements, and recommendations for quality of service and cloud SLA,” said Dalibor Baskovc, vice-president at EuroCloud Europe, one of the project partners.

We see cloud as an engine of change and a central ingredient for innovation in Europe

Francisco Medeiros, European Commission

The project will also create a series of tools to help stakeholders create value-added cloud products and services. These consist of the Cloud Accelerator Toolbox and the Go-to-the-Cloud service platform – a collection of management tools bundling together trend analysis, use cases and practical recommendations in the form of printable report templates and instructional videos.

“The tools we are developing will help companies adopt and deploy cloud solutions, whatever their different needs and requirements are,” said Baskovc.

The project will also carry out a number of market surveys to gather key information and produce an overview of the cloud adoption status, such as why companies should develop cloud services, the main internal problems in adopting a cloud product, the associated risks and how these issues can be addressed.

According to the European Commission, cloud computing has the potential to employ millions in Europe by 2020.

“We see cloud as an engine of change and a central ingredient for innovation in Europe,” Francisco Medeiros, deputy head of unit, software and services, cloud computing at the European Commission told the Datacentres Europe 2014 audience in May this year. “Cloud is one of the fastest-growing markets in Europe.”

In 2013, worldwide hardware products grew by 4.2% to €401bn, while software and services grew by 4.5% to €877bn, signifying the importance of software services, said Medeiros.

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Establishing a Trusted Cloud Europe

Establishing a Trusted Cloud Europe” is a policy vision document that has been set up after more than one year of regular cooperation of the European Cloud Partnership Steering Board gathering leading players from private and public organisations in Europe.

Its aim was to reflect about a frame that could help raising trust in the use of cloud services so that the cloud market becomes a comfortable market space for both cloud providers and cloud purchasers.

We would like to invite you to give us your ideas, inputs, reflections about the Steering Board’s vision. Does it match yours? What are the strong points? What are you missing?

Please find the links to the survey here:

Trusted Cloud Europe: have your say! 
Respond on the webby email, or join the online discussion

The web version offers you the possibility to answer quickly to our selected questions – the survey is open until the 2nd of May 2014.
if you can spend some more moments on this, please feel free to give us your more extended thoughts about the vision document via the online discussion link.

Thank you in advance for your feedback!

EU Commision

Jacek Starczewski
Policy Officer

By David: Sales Transformation_5 Steps to Capture More Cloud Customers

Digital Disruption = Business Transformation
Business Transformation -> Sales & Marketing Transformation
“Change is difficult. Not changing is fatal.” – William Pollard
Watch my keynote presentation delivered at 2015 at Europa Park, Rust, Germany on Tuesday 24th of March, 2015.
Question: What are you doing to align your business with the preferences of tomorrow’s digitally disrupted customers?
Lead first, manage second.

David Ednie

SalesChannel Europe