The digital economy is growing at seven times the rate of the rest of the economy. The European Commission estimates that completing the digital single market could contribute €415 billion per year to Europe’s economy, create 3.8 million jobs and transform public services. In addition, many future jobs will require information and communications technologies (ICT) skills, rendering the process of acquiring digital skills an imperative. The European Commission has presented several initiatives to boost the use of ICT in Europe
Digital technologies have changed the way we live and transformed the world around us at unprecedented speed. They have affected all important aspects of life, both at work and at home, and have influenced almost everything from human relations to the economy, to the extent that access to the internet has now become a basic human right recognised by the United Nations. This profound change presents both opportunities and threats to our society. Citizens need specific skills and access to be able to meaningfully take part in society and work. European businesses need an adequate policy framework and infrastructure to capture the enormous value created by the digital economy. Supporting innovation, removing barriers in the digital single market, and effectively managing and using data are the necessary tools to assist them and boost economic growth in Europe. The European Union takes an active part in shaping the digital economy and society, with cross policy initiatives that range from boosting investment, through reforms of copyright and e privacy, to removal of geo-blocking and development of e-government. This multifaceted approach is necessary to facilitate adaptation to complex new realities.
New rules to ensure that only high-quality organic food is sold in the EU and to boost organic production were approved by the European Parliament on Thursday. MEPs gave the go-ahead to the new EU law on organic production and labelling, as agreed by Parliament’s negotiators and EU ministers on 28 June 2017, by 466 votes in favour to 124 against, with 50 abstentions.
The EU’s sugar sector provides a source of income for many farmers and sugar manufacturers. The EU is the world’s top producer of sugar beet and one of the main sugar manufacturers’ and consumers’ markets. The EU sugar market had been one of the most heavily regulated markets in the agri-food sector for 50 years, until the quota regime ended on 30 September 2017, thereby introducing a new scenario for this segment of the economy.