Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Andrej Savin and Jan Trzaskowski
Chapter 1: EU Internet policy
The Internet as a global platform without any territorial frontiers seems to be the perfect means to realize an internal market, which has been the predominant goal of the European Union since its foundation in the early 1960s. Hence, it is not a big surprise that policies to foster the Internet and promote E-Commerce as well as any kind of electronic communication and transactions have always been a core element in EU policy setting since the middle of the 1990s. The Commission explicitly formulated an Internet policy as an integrated strategy which encompassed several areas for the first time in 2005. The EU has now adopted a far-reaching Digital Agenda for Europe 2020,which is intended to set a framework for more detailed plans in each of the different policy areas, for instance, consumer protection, intellectual property rights or industrial policies. The EU Commission qualifies the enhancement of the digital sector, in particular the Internet, as one of ‘the seven flagship initiatives’ of the Europe 2020 strategy adopted at the Lisbon summit in 2010 with the aim of overcoming the financial and economic crisis that had hit Europe’s economy: The overall aim of the Digital Agenda is to deliver sustainable economic and social benefits from a digital single market based on fast and ultra fast Internet and interoperable applications.