“The EU economy was marked by recession in 2012. According to the latest Commission figures, annual GDP in 2013 is forecast to contract 0.1% in the EU and 0.4% in the Euro area. Unemployment is at unacceptable levels in many countries, particularly for the youth. Constrained by high levels of debt, governments are under pressure to cut public spending.Against this background, there are few potential sources of growth and employment.One of the most important sources is technological progress, including digitisation, and its adoption by society. Adopting ICT (information and communications technology) and adapting businesses to new technology is a key factor of competitiveness for every company. Similarly, using ICT innovatively improves public services and reduces costs as well as making them easier for citizens and businesses to access from a distance. Moreover, despite the high overall unemployment, there are shortages of ICT specialists in the EU, forecast to reach up to 900 000 unfilled vacancies by 2015. Hence, completing the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE), adopted by the European Commission in 2010 is more than ever a priority for attaining the Europe 2020 objectives.”
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