EUROPEAN PUBLIC POLICIES IN THE AREA OF THE DIGITAL ECONOMY AND SOCIETY: COUNTRY PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS
The concept of the digital economy and society is quickly changing the reality of how citizens live and work. Originally anchored under the discipline of the information society, the new model of a digital technologies economy and society announces a shift from the knowledge-based to the data-based paradigm. This change was recognized in Europe in 2007, with the European Commission’s Communication “E-skills for the 21st Century: Fostering Competitiveness, Growth and Jobs”. In the following years, many European Union and national public policies and programmes were designed and introduced in Europe in order to keep abreast of the profound changes the model of digital economy and society brings into our world.
This paper analyses European public policies’ and programmes’ scope and objectives, evaluating their impact in terms of country-wide digital competitiveness over the period of 2014–2017. The paper provides insights at a European- as well as country-specific levels (via case studies) and covers the following areas: (1) scope and objectives of European public policies for the digital economy and society in Europe; (2) key actors involved in the public policies of the digital economy and society in Europe; (3) evaluation of the European public policies for the digital economy and society in Europe. Quantitative and qualitative research methods were employed for data collection and analysis: database research and analysis, statistical analysis, content and thematic research, and analysis from policy papers and reports.
The implementation of digital public policies in the EU from 2014–2017 led to an increase in the number of people with basic and advanced digital skills. However, the number of countries below the EU-28 average in 2017 in terms of human capital preparation for a digital society and economy was high. The digital public policies on the human capital dimension in the EU need to improve in national action and lead with urgency to a significant increase in the number of people with basic and advanced digital skills.
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