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Future EU-growth is digital

03-02-2012 14:58:00

EU Ministers include tablets and digital stories in the decision making process.

Photo: Bjarke Ørsted
Informal meeting of Ministers for Competitiveness 3 February

On Thursday and Friday this week the Danish minister of Business and Growth, Ole Sohn, has hosted an informal meeting of the Competiveness Council in Copenhagen, with the participation of 35 European ministers and head of delegations as well as two EU commissioners.

At the meeting, it was agreed that EU should exploit e-trade and digital solutions to create renewed growth and job creation in the EU.

There is a considerable potential for growth in creating a digital single market, where businesses and consumers can trade on the Internet and use digital solutions across borders.  

A recent study from McKinsey & Company shows that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with strong presence on the internet grow more than twice as quickly as those that have minimal or no presence. At the same time, a Commission study shows that there could be economic benefits of around 40 billion euro a year over a six-year period if all invoices in the EU were sent electronically.

Danish minister of Business and Growth, Ole Sohn said:

“The economic crisis in Europe not only necessitates financial consolidation but also the stimulation of long-term growth and job creation. Last Monday the European Council stressed that the creation of a well functioning Digital Single Market is one of the central growth accelerators within the EU. At today’s meeting, we have taken further steps on the matter and have agreed upon which initiatives to prioritise in order to reap the potentials of a fully functioning Digital Single Market.”

There are several barriers to cross border e-commerce and the use of digital solutions within the EU. In 2010 40 per cent of European consumers traded online, but only 9 per cent of these bought goods and services in an internet store located in another EU country. 95 per cent of invoices that are sent across borders in the EU are traditional paper invoices and only 5 per cent of public procurements are conducted electronically.

Danish minister of Business and Growth, Ole Sohn:

”We have had some very fruitful discussions with valuable input from different innovative European companies. We have agreed to double online sales by 2015 compared to today. We also agreed to create a framework, which enables e-procurement by 2016 and ensure that the majority of invoices will be sent electronically by 2020.”


Marie Kirkebæk Brandt, Ministry of Business and Growth
Tel: +45 33 95 40 71, email:


  • Head of Department, International Secretariat
  • Troels Blicher Danielsen
  • Ministry of Business and Growth
  • Competitiveness, Shipping and Telecommunication
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Download photos from the meeting

Informal meeting of Ministers for competitiveness 1 -3 feb