Digital Services & Technology Hardware
Digital sector lobbying activity has increased substantially from 2015 when the European Commission launched its flagship digital single market strategy. Indeed, a key priority for the Juncker Commission has been to create a digital single market where the free movement of goods, persons, services, capital and data is guaranteed — and where citizens and businesses can seamlessly and fairly access online goods and services, whatever their nationality, and wherever they live. Brussels is home to more than 15 trade associations involved directly with digital services and technology, from Digital Europe to the Business Software Alliance. Although Google and Microsoft are the two biggest corporate affairs spenders in Brussels, in the words of one tech commentator: “There are new actors who have come to Brussels, lots of them which didn’t exist 20 years ago. They’ve gone from being economically insignificant to being economically substantial, so they want to be part of the policymaking process.”
Also as Transparency International recently reported: “For decades, Silicon Valley companies have turned traditional business models on their heads. From streaming movies to turning private cars into taxis, these companies are known for both innovation and shaking-up the markets they operate in. A similar phenomenon is happening in Brussels where Silicon Valley companies are rapidly changing the lobbying scene. As a result, they are fast becoming the largest, most influential and most transformative players in town.”
The digital single market could contribute €415 billion to the European economy, boosting jobs, growth, competition, investment and innovation. It can expand markets, offering better and more cost-effective services, transform public services and create new jobs. It can create opportunities for new start-ups and allow companies to grow and innovate in a market of over 500 million people. A completed digital single market can help Europe hold its position as a world leader in the digital economy.