On May 7 Ecommerce Europe attended the ‘European Day’ held by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs in The Hague. Vice-President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes, Dutch Minister Kamp and online entrepreneurs talked about the effect of digitization and internationalization on the European economy.
Neelie Kroes argued that thanks to the European framework there are huge opportunities for entrepreneurs in Europe. The digital economy is an open market, which does not simply come to a halt at Europe’s borders. This demands innovation, flexibility and new thinking. Any form of protection only has a negative effect, says Kroes. Businesses need to adapt, look for new business models and not get fixated on the idea that things will always remain the same.
Minister Kamp referred to the U.S. as a leading e-commerce country which has produced such giants as Google, Apple and Facebook. The emergence of these companies was not hindered by the lack of an internal market. Europe could follow the U.S.’s example: European harmonization of markets, laws, regulations and policies is essential for growth. It is only by having a robust internal market that we can strengthen the European market.
Kamp, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs: ‘Governments should give priority to creating conditions in order to facilitate growth across borders. At the same time room has to be created for small innovative entrepreneurs. Contemporary market rules are needed, a level playing field, not only in the Netherlands, but above all in Europe. Rules have to be adapted to the new reality. It is evident enough that this new reality is affecting traditional businesses. But let’s be clear: for every job that disappears in the traditional world due to digitization, at least 2.6 new jobs are being created in ICT and related sectors.