The DIGITAL ECONOMY IN EUROPE AND CANADA FORUM: CATA CEO to moderate
September 22, 2013

The Centre for European Studies (EU Centre of Excellence), Canada-Europe Transatlantic 
Dialogue, EUNIC (EU National Institutes of Culture) Cluster Ottawa, and the Embassy of 
France in Canada present:

POLICY WORKSHOP:

PROMOTING THE DIGITAL ECONOMY:
PERSPECTIVES FROM EUROPE AND CANADA



SEPTEMBER 27 (Friday), 2013
9:00 a.m - 11:45 a.m.
Room 608, Robertson Hall, Carleton University, Ottawa

The European Union has been very active in recent years in taking a dynamic approach to the  development of the digital economy. The Digital Agenda for Europe was adopted in 2010, as an integral part of the Europe 2020 strategy, to stimulate the digital economy and to address societal challenges through new information and communications technologies (ICT). The European Council and the European Parliament have since called for further strengthening  of the European digital leadership and completion of the Digital Single Market by 2015.  As one step in this process,  in December 2012 the European Commission adopted seven new  priorities for the digital economy and society for 2013-2014. Today's priorities follow a  comprehensive policy review and place new emphasis on the most transformative elements  of the original 2010 Agenda.  The digital economy is growing at seven times the rate of the rest of the economy, but this potential is currently held back by a patchy pan-European policy  framework which the above-mentioned initiatives are intended to address. 

Full implementation of this updated Digital Agenda would have broad-ranging implications.  It would have the potential to  increase European GDP by 5%, or 1500€ per person over the next eight years, by increasing investment in ICT, improving the eSkills levels in the labour force, enabling public sector innovation, and reforming the framework conditions for the internet economy. In terms of jobs, up to one million digital jobs risk going unfilled by 2015 without pan-European action while 1.2 million jobs could be created through infrastructure construction. This would rise to 3.8 million new jobs throughout the economy in the long term.

Beyond the digital industries,  there has been an increasing awareness in recent years of the importance of cultural and creative industries (CCIs) at the EU level. On top of being essential drivers of cultural diversity in Europe, these industries – which include notably architecture, archives and libraries, artistic crafts, audiovisual (such as film, television, video games and multimedia), cultural heritage, design, festivals, music, performing arts, publishing, radio and visual arts – are one of Europe's most dynamic economic sectors. They employ millions of people across the EU-28, contribute a substantial share to EU GDP and grow faster than the rest of the economy. CCIs are also a lever for social and territorial cohesion, as well as driving creativity and innovation with positive spillover effects on the 
rest of the economy and on society as a whole.

However, all of these industries are faced with a rapidly changing environment characterized in particular by new technologies (digital shift) and globalization, which bring with them new challenges and opportunities. Moreover, businesses in this sector, and especially small and medium enterprises, too often face obstacles to fulfilling their full potential. The current economic crisis is also adversely impacting on these industries, making it even more difficult for them to access the resources they need to finance their activities and adapt to the new environment. In order to better understand the type of business environment meeting the specific needs of creative entrepreneurship, the Commission published a Green Paper in April 2010, which prompted contributions from organisations and individuals from all over Europe. It also commissioned studies, in particular a study on the entrepreneurial dimension of CCIs and a study on culture in local and regional development. 

The policy workshop held at Carleton University and organized with the European National Institutes of Culture (UNIC) in Ottawa  will address these points, providing a point of comparison with Canada’s own approach to development of the digital economy.  

Experts from the European Union and Canada will discuss the challenges and actions in this important economic sector.

Main Topics of the conference:

• What are the goals, aims, strategies and priorities of the EU Commission regarding the 
Digital Agenda for Europe, 2020?   What do these 7 new priorities mean in terms of 
actions, policies, and funding opportunities?

• What are the implications of the EU’s strategy for Canada and for international 
cooperation more broadly?

• How do Canada’s digital economy initiatives compare with the EU’s? Is Canada 
pursuing a similar or divergent approach from the EU? What are the economic 
implications for Canada of these similarities and differences, including impacts on 
cultural and creative industries?

Participants:

Megan Richards, Director for Coordination, DG Communications Networks, Content and 
Technology (CONNECT)/, European Commission

Gilles Babinet, French multi-entrepreneur and  president of the French National Digital Council

Anna Serrano, Chief Digital Officer, Canadian Film Centre, Media Lab

Namir Anani, President & CEO, Information and Communications Technology Council

Ira Wagman, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Carleton University (TBC)

Moderator : John Reid, President CATAAlliance