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EU budget: ETNO supports ambitious funding for a stronger digital Europe


Innovation & Enterprise
Brussels, 27.3.2018 – ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading telecom operators, supports the European Commission ambitions on strengthening the EU budget for digitisation.
Europe stands at crossroads with regard to its digital future and the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) should reflect the need to strengthen our position in the global digital landscape. Along with pro-investment regulation, EU funding for R&D and innovation is essential to support European innovators and tech leaders. As calculated by Accenture, the economic opportunity from digitization in Europe is over €4bn in value per day. Well-crafted budgetary policies are essential to help empower economic growth, competitiveness, creation of smart jobs and innovative solutions with high societal value.
The next MFF should stimulate future oriented digital technologies, solving individual and collective daily life challenges, improving public services, mobility, safety and ultimately the standard of living of the EU citizens. 
A leadership-oriented MFF
Innovation and investment in digital services and networks is, and will be, led by private investment and by the entrepreneurial spirit. However, support to R&D and market-driven initiatives, emerging from all the industry players regardless of their scale, will make the difference in boosting Europe’s position on the global tech scene. For this reason, ETNO welcomes the inclusion of a Digital Europe Programme within the proposed list of instruments for the next MFF. 
This comes on top of the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and the Connecting Europe Facility.  We believe that the next Multiannual Financial Framework should follow 7 main principles:
•    At least double the budget dedicated to digitisation prioritizing resource allocation to this area;
•    Support innovation by a mission-oriented and close-to-market research funding in cutting-edge technologies;
•    Focus on 5G technologies and their evolution, applications and use cases;
•    Promote attention to ICT platforms, media & content technologies and services, by leveraging the European digitisation ecosystem;
•    Safeguard a transparent and predictable IPR framework that fosters innovation across the digitisation value chain;
•    Ensure that public money for connectivity is used efficiently and does not distort markets;
•    Significantly increase efforts for leadership in IoT technologies and services, Artificial Intelligence, cybersecurity, smart mobility and eHealth solutions.
ETNO Director General Lise Fuhr said: “We support Vice-Presidente Ansip, Commissioner Gabriel and Commissioner Oettinger in their ambitious vision for a strong EU budget leading to full digitisation. Doubling the funds and ensuring strategic focus on 5G technologies, AI and European platforms will be crucial to promote Europe’s global competitiveness”.
For media inquiries: Alessandro Gropelli,