Eurpean Union IT summit focuses on users

Three hundred delegates met in Visby to debate the future of EU IT policy

The purpose was to give impetus to the European Commission for a renewed European IT policy agenda for the coming five years. During the meeting several delegates stressed the importance of the user perspective when framing IT policy and underlined that governments must continue to focus on eInclusion and education in IT knowledge that takes the needs of different groups into account. The purpose is to build a knowledge-based society.

“It is extremely important that users are brought into focus when new technology is developed. An important aspect is that the industry must be much better at seeing women. Technology today is developed by and for men. If new technology is to really reach out to the entire population then both women and men must be involved in developing it,” says President-in-Office of the Council and Sweden’s Minister for Communications Åsa Torstensson.

Other questions of importance included copyright issues, and the fact that when governments intend to make decisions on the future, development should be seen in terms of different waves rather than traditional timelines. Otherwise, many people have stressed the importance of not dealing with IT questions separately from other policy areas. The delegates underlined the importance of the EU and the different Member States now making use of the capacity of IT to create growth and jobs and to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide.

“New technology has an extremely important role to play in lifting the EU out of the economic crisis we are now experiencing, but also in improving energy efficiency to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. IT is a tool that many have discovered but there are still a lot of people who do not see its full potential to contribute to solving both the climate and the financial crisis,” says Ms Torstensson.

Sweden is now framing Presidency conclusions. In addition the Member States in the Council must draw up Council conclusions to be discussed and adopted at the Council meeting of telecoms ministers in December. In May 2010 the Spanish Presidency will present the new IT agenda for Europe.


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