Tag Archives: Andrus Ansip

Startup Europe Week

Investments in digital companies and access to capital are always needed for helping startups to grow. But startups also need supportive policies. Linking and networking them will unlock more of their potential, and offer the scale necessary to compete with other ecosystems around the world.” Said Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip.

Today begun the third edition of the Startup Europe Week, combining hundreds of events all over Europe and beyond. The Startup Europe Week is now organised in more than 50 countries, with additional global events taking place in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel added:¬†“This grassroots movement helps those interested in entrepreneurship to make the first steps to bring their dream projects to life. The initiative fosters creativity as well as more entrepreneurial spirit for continuing the success story of the European startup scene.

The initiative aims to inform entrepreneurs of the support and resources available at city and regional level. In 2017, Startup Europe Week reached with the help of more than 280 co-organisers in more than 40 countries over 100,000 entrepreneurs across Europe. More information about this year’s Startup Europe Week is available here, various events can be found here. Read also a recent blog post about the initiative in Vice-President Ansip‘s blog.

Cyber threats: EU new Computer Emergency Response Team

An inter-institutional arrangement was signed yesterday that establishes CERT-EU as a permanent Computer Emergency Response Team for the EU institutions, bodies and agencies. This decision follows the successful operation of CERT-EU as a task-force over the last six years.

CERT-EU reinforces the protection against the cyberattacks, which are often targeted also against the EU institutions, agencies and bodies. CERT-EU works very closely with the internal IT security teams of the EU institutions and liaises with the community of computer emergency response teams and IT security companies in all Member States, exchanging information on threats and how to handle them. It also cooperates closely with its counterpart at NATO (NCIRC) and with the Hybrid Fusion Cell at EEAS. Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: “CERT-EU is a key actor in the protection of the EU institutions against cyber threats. It demonstrates how much the EU institutions can accomplish when they act together.” Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel added: ”Now all EU bodies can count on a permanent operational cybersecurity team to help them respond effectively to the increasing number of advanced cyber threats also affecting citizens.

EU new study to support 5G roll-out

Ahead of¬†tomorrow’s¬†Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council that will concentrate on most pertinent Digital Single Market issues, the Commission published today the latest¬†study on spectrum assignments¬†that will support the EU’s work towards successful 5G deployment.

The results affirm that licence duration and auction prices influence investments in better network coverage. For example, there is a tendency for higher investment levels in countries that have awarded longer licences. There is additionally evidence that high spectrum prices can be associated with lower 4G availability. These findings will provide supplementary input to the ongoing negotiations with the European Parliament and the Council on the Commission’s proposal for new EU telecoms rules ‚Äď the¬†European Electronic Communications Code.¬†Tomorrow’s¬†Council meeting in Luxembourg aims to accelerate progress on the Digital Single Market legislative files, in particular on spectrum and 5G deployment. Additionally, the Ministers hold a follow-up debate on cybersecurity following the¬†European Council conclusions, the Tallinn Digital Summit and the¬†Commission’s proposals¬†to scale up the EU’s response to cyber-attacks. For the Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus¬†Ansip, Commissioner Julian¬†King¬†in charge of Security Union, as well as Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya¬†Gabriel¬†will participate. The European Electronic Communications Code is crucial for creating the Digital Single Market, as it will boost investments in high-speed and quality networks. It provides the necessary basis for the 5G roll-out at the same time all across the EU. Read more about the topic in the¬†proposal from 2016. Further details on the spectrum assignments study can be found¬†here. Spectrum factsheet will be available soon¬†here. Overview factsheets on the Digital Single Market can be found here:¬†state of play,¬†timeline,¬†cybersecurity.

EIB supports the digital economy


¬†“The agreement signed today with IP Only under the Juncker Plan is good news for Sweden just days after the first EU summit dedicated to Europe’s common digital project. Europe needs fast internet to reap the benefits of the digital single market. This is true for citizens and companies alike, in all corners of Europe: rural or urban.” Said Vice-President Andrus¬†Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is¬†lending ‚ā¨125 million¬†to Swedish broadband provider IP-Only to support the expansion of its fibre network in cities and rural areas in Sweden. This deal will give high-speed internet access to over 400,000 homes by 2020.¬† And as Cyber Security Month kicks off, the EIB has also signed a¬†‚ā¨20 million financing agreement¬†with CS Group in France under the Investment Plan. The company will use the financing to develop their research, development and innovation into cyber security systems.

Start the European Cybersecurity Month

¬†“Cybersecurity is the basis for the digital world; it is our shared responsibility, of everybody, every day. I welcome these joint efforts to promote awareness and concrete actions for cybersecurity and cyberhygiene across Europe.” Said¬†Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip.

The 5th edition of the ¬†European Cybersecurity Month, taking place during the entire month of October 2017 across Europe, aims at raising awareness of cybersecurity threats and promoting cybersecurity among citizens and organisations through education and sharing of good practices. This year’s campaign follows up on Commission’s proposals to scale up EU’s response to cyber-attacks and will carry further the message that cyber-hygiene needs to be embedded in our daily practices. The annual awareness campaign is organised by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), the European Commission and over 300 partners, including local authorities, governments, universities, think tanks, NGOs and professional associations. Around 300 activities will take place in October throughout Europe. During this month, in order to tackle the need of smarter authentication ways, the European Commission has launched a new¬† Horizon prize: “Seamless authentication for all”. ‚ā¨4 million are available to the innovators who contribute to inventing secure, privacy-friendly and affordable authentication methods for everyone and their smart objects. You can find out more about what is happening in your country during the Cybersecurity Month by checking the interactive map. Tips and advice in 23 languages, videos, online quizzes and awareness raising material are available on the dedicated website.

EU tackle illegal content online


“We are providing a sound EU answer to the challenge of illegal content online. Our guidance includes safeguards to avoid over-removal, ensure transparency and the protection of fundamental rights such as freedom of speech.” Said Andrus¬†Ansip Vice-President for Digital Single Market .

The Commission is presenting a guidelines and principles for online platforms to step up more proactive prevention, detection and removal of illegal content inciting hatred, violence and terrorism online, as announced by President¬†Juncker¬†in his¬†Letter of Intent¬†accompanying his¬†State of the Union speechof 13 September. The increasing availability and spreading of terrorist material and content that incites to violence and hatred online is not only a serious threat to the security and safety of EU citizens, it also undermines citizens’ trust and confidence in the digital environment ‚Äď a key engine of innovation, growth and jobs.Vera¬†Jourov√°, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said:”The rule of law applies online just as much as offline. We cannot accept a digital Wild West, and we must act”.¬†Julian¬†King, Commissioner for the Security Union, said:¬†“The digital world offers unprecedented opportunities but, in the wrong hands, poses a serious threat to our security.¬†Mariya¬†Gabriel, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, said:¬†“Today we provide a clear signal to platforms to act more responsibly. This is key for citizens and the development of platforms.”¬†The new guidance issued today calls on online platforms to further boost their efforts to prevent the spread of illegal content. Given their increasingly important role in providing access to information, the Commission expects online platforms to take swift action over the coming months, in particular in the area of terrorism and illegal hate speech ‚Äď which is already illegal under EU law, both online and offline.

The benefits without roaming charges

“We see that people are keen to use their phones like at home when travelling in the EU without the fear of a bill-shock. And mobile operators are investing in networks to meet increased demand. Our¬†new EU telecoms rules¬†will encourage such investments; they should be adopted by the European Parliament and Member States as soon as possible.‚Ä̬† Said Andrus¬†Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market.

The first summer without roaming charges shows that a large majority of Europeans recognise the benefits of the new rules and have started changing their habits when travelling abroad in the EU, according to a Flash Eurobarometer survey published today. Thanks to the new EU roaming rules, in place since 15 June 2017, consumers can use their mobile phone while travelling abroad in the EU as they would do at home, without paying extra charges.

Mariya¬†Gabriel, the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, added:¬†“This is an example of an EU that concretely improves the life of European citizens. Roam like at home is working: customers are appreciating it, consumption is up and the demand for mobile services while travelling in the EU is very high. It benefits consumers and operators alike.”¬†The¬†Eurobarometer survey¬†shows that 71% of Europeans are aware that roaming charges have ended and 72% think they, or someone they know, will benefit. Awareness of the new rules rises to 86% amongst those who have travelled since 15 June.

Fair taxation of the Digital Economy


‚ÄúModern taxation rules are essential to leverage the full potential of the EU‚Äôs Digital Single Market and to encourage innovation and growth. This means having a modern and sustainable tax framework which provides legal certainty, growth-friendly incentives and a level playing field for all businesses. The EU continues to push for a comprehensive revision of global tax rules to meet the new realities.” Said Andrus¬†Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market .

The European Commission is today launching a new EU agenda to ensure that the digital economy is taxed in a fair and growth-friendly way. The Communication adopted by the Commission sets out the challenges Member States currently face when it comes to acting on this pressing issue and outlines possible solutions to be explored.

The aim is to ensure a coherent EU approach to taxing the digital economy that supports the Commission’s key priorities of completing the Digital Single Market and ensuring the fair and effective taxation of all companies. Today’s Communication paves the way for a legislative proposal on EU rules for the taxation of profits in the digital economy, as confirmed by President¬†Juncker¬†in the¬†2017 State of the Union. Those rules could be set out as early as spring 2018. Today’s paper should also feed into international work in this area, notably in the G20 and the OECD.


Valdis¬†Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue said:¬†“There is broad agreement that the growing digitalisation of the economy creates huge economic opportunities. At the same time, our tax systems should evolve to capture new business models while being fair, efficient and future-proof. It‚Äôs also a question of sustainability of our tax revenues as traditional tax sources come under strain. Not least, it‚Äôs about maintaining the integrity of the Single Market and avoiding fragmentation by finding common solutions to global challenges.”

Pierre¬†Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs added:¬†“The goal of this Commission has always been to ensure that companies pay their fair share of tax where they generate profits. Digital firms make vast profits from their millions of users, even if they do not have a physical presence in the EU. We now want to create a level playing field so that all companies active in the EU can compete fairly, irrespective of whether they are operating via the cloud or from brick and mortar premises.”

The current tax framework does not fit with modern realities. The tax rules in place today were designed for the traditional economy and cannot capture activities which are increasingly based on intangible assets and data. As a result, the effective tax rate of digital companies in the EU is estimated to be half that of traditional companies ‚Äď and often much less. At the same time, patchwork unilateral measures by Member States to address the problem threaten to create new obstacles and loopholes in the Single Market.

The first focus should be on pushing for a fundamental reform of international tax rules, which would ensure a better link between how value is created and where it is taxed. Member States should converge on a strong and ambitious EU position, so we can push for meaningful outcomes in the OECD report to the G20 on this issue next spring. The Digital Summit in Tallinn will be a good occasion for Member States to define this position at the highest political level.

Cybersecurity for personal data

“Europe’s digital economy is still strongly split along closed national lines. This is holding Europe back from its broader digital growth. Our proposal, together with EU personal data protection rules will enable the free movement of all types of data in the single market. The free flow of data will make it easier for SMEs and startups to
develop new innovative services and to enter new markets.‚ÄĚ Said Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market.

To unlock the full potential of the EU data economy, the Commission is proposing anew set of rules to
govern the free flow of non-personal data in the EU. Together with the already existing rules for personal data, the new measures will enable the storage and processing of non-personal data across the Union to boost the competitiveness of European businesses and to modernise public services in an effective EU single market for data services. Removing data localisation restrictions is considered the most important factor for the data economy to double its value to 4% of GDP in 2020.

Mariya Gabriel, the Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, said: “To ensure Europe’s success in the new era of the digital economy, we need solid and predictable rules for the circulation of data. Citizens and businesses will benefit from better products and services as more and more data becomes available for data-driven innovation. Removing obstacles to cross-border data flows is essential for a competitive European data economy.‚ÄĚ

Free flow of non-personal data

A clear, comprehensive and predictable framework will contribute to a more competitive and integrated EU market for data storage and data processing services. The framework proposes

The principle of free flow of non-personal data across borders: Member States can no longer oblige organisations to locate the storage or processing of data within their borders. Restrictions will only be justified for reasons of public security. Member States will have to notify the Commission of new or existing data localisation requirements. The free flow of non-personal data will make it easier and cheaper for businesses to operate across borders without having to duplicate IT systems or to save the same data in different places.

The principle of data availability for regulatory control: Competent authorities will be able to exercise their rights of access to data wherever it is stored or processed in the EU. The free flow of non-personal data will not affect the obligations for businesses and other organisations to provide certain data for regulatory control purposes.

The development of EU codes of conduct to remove obstacles to switching between service
providers of cloud storage and to porting data back to users’ own IT systems.

Benefits for businesses and people

The new rules will increase legal certainty and trust for businesses and organisations. They will alsoclear the way for a truly EU single market in data storage and processing, leading to a competitive, safe and reliable European cloud sector and to lower prices for users of data storage and processing services. As the aim of the new rules is to increase trust, companies are expected to use more cloud services and to feel re-assured when entering new markets. They will also be able to move their inhouse IT-resources to the most cost-effective locations. Ultimately, this means an estimated additional growth of EU GDP by ‚ā¨8 billion per year.

The new measures complement the personal data protection legislation as an additional step towards a truly functional common European data space.