DG Infosoc is gearing up activities under the Digital Single Market headline. When this is being rolled out it is important to ask the question: Why?
The obvious answers are that large scale x-sector digitalization is:
1. making enterprises more competitive as (i) they become more cost-efficient, (ii) serve their customer better (digitally), (iii) suffer less from tax-burden (as the public sectors become more productive), (iv) can move scarce workforce from administrative
tasks to service, development (v) reduces stress by simplifying and automating reporting and sales and (vi) pay less for CO2 emissions
2. helping public sectors to (i) cut cost, (ii) serve better, (iii) collect VAT and other taxes evenly, (iv) emit less CO2 and (v) promote life-long learning-by- doing and thus much needed mobility in the workforce.
3. finding the solution to funding welfare services in face of radically declining population in working age (with less inclination to work hard) and radically growing old age population
4. helping citizens (in private, employee and entrepreneur roles) to save time, money and the environment by letting them use the same and always when possible already familiar ready tools for the same purposes x-services (example bank-eID) and for different
purposes (example payment tools for invoicing)
Then to HOW?
DG Enterprise, DG Markt and DG Taxud have been promoting productivity and just tax collection by driving
electronic invoicing as a cost saver, fundament for automating administrative processes at large, driver for SEPA and mega class booster for the Single Market.
It would be a major case of inter-organizational disconnect if a Digital Single Market would focus on e-commerce without including the payment aspect of e-commerce properly. If that would happen the headline should be something more sectoral - like Digital
Single Market/Telecommunication or so... but as productivity must come first and the full picture must include it this should not be the outcome.
What we need now is more than:
In the digital agenda communication:
Europe has a common currency but the market for electronic payments and
eInvoicing is still fragmented along national borders. Only in an integrated payment
market will it be possible for enterprises and consumers to rely on safe and efficient
payment methods. This is why the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) should be
completed without delay. SEPA will also provide a launch platform for value added
services linked to payments, such as the development of a European eInvoicing
in addition a very concrete and bold productivity&single market program - focusing strongly on less than 5 major targets. Otherwise this will be just another lofty heap of paper.