Measuring Inclusion and Diffusion in Europe
Edited by Paolo Guerrieri and Sara Bentivegna
Chapter 8: Digital development: an overall EU policy framework
8.1 WHAT DOES E-INCLUSION REFER TO? This final chapter attempts to bring together e-inclusion and ICT policies in an overall EU policy framework. Any EU policy framework should adhere to basic principles of EU policy making, such as subsidiarity, proportionality, non-intervention when market failures are absent and the integrity of the single market. The framework should be capable of employing effective means to pursue the set aims. Not least, it ought to achieve and maintain a tight complementarity between what is done at the Member State level – but for aims defined at EU level! – and what at EU level jointly. Let’s start by recalling the analytical decomposition of ‘e-inclusion’ as demonstrated in the European Development Digital Index (EDDI) shown in Figure 1.2 in Chapter 1. This is a useful tool for coming to grips with the notion of e-inclusion. In principle, the ingredients indicated could all serve as elements for policy, if given well-defined goals and if instruments can be identified. This decomposition shows immediately that any policy framework of e-inclusion will have to be broad-based and multivariate. Infrastructure represents the supply side of electronic communication markets, whether the physical local presence of a network (rarely a problem in the EU given DSL technology, the simplest form of wired Internet connection, except perhaps in some rural areas of the new Member States), the quality range of the network connection offerings and their respective affordability given income distribution, local prosperity levels and the degree of price and non-price competition (for example...
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