torsdag 6. oktober 2011

33. Brusselbrev fra Fred-Arne (6.10.2011)

Generaldirektør Robert Madelin har vært i Norge med meg som koffertbærer, og det er naturlig med en oppdatering .
På agendaen denne gang:
• Robert Madelin i Norge
• José Manuel Barroso har holdt sin State of the Union-tale
• Føljetongen om belgisk politikk fortsetter

Robert Madelin i Norge
Først må jeg si at dette var et veldig vellykket besøk. All ære til arrangørene. Logistikken gikk på skinner. Veldig god pressedekning. Innholdet var veldig interessant, det kunne registreres av Madelins spørsmål og engasjement. Og: Vi fikk en klar oppfordring om ikke å glemme det europeiske perspektivet, selv om det tilsynelatende går godt i Norge.

Noen poenger:
Poengene er på engelsk, for de er hentet fra (men litt omskrevet) den offisielle rapporten, som finnes her: Her finnes også presentasjonene.

Møte med statsråden:
• Rigmor Aasrud: Bringing technology into the care for the elderly – warm hands vs. robots- is a tricky political issue.
• Robert Madelin: ICT is not about pushing technology into society, it is about using research and technology to solve society's problems.
• Rigmor Aasrud: A new Norwegian DAE is expected to be finished January 2012. What new topics should be emphasized? Concrete broadband commitment is a very political issue. NO uses a market based approach, but some government money may be needed to fill the gap.
• Robert Madelin: Future ICT strategies to be focused on people; cyber psychology, how do people react to and use technology, will be an interesting perspective. Cyber security will be a mega theme next year(s).

Broadband coverage:
• 6850 households in Norway are now without internet coverage.
• The real economic challenge in building a fibre network is the specification of ducts. (Deep, wide ducts are 10x cost of simpler solutions.)

Privacy protection – new social media: Norwegian study of Facebook and privacy, letter with questions to Facebook and answer from Facebook (Veldig spennende initiativ fra Datatilsynet. Viktig at de er proaktive og ikke bare scrubber – min personlige kommentar):
• Facebook confirms that what the user writes on the wall is used to target advertising.
• Facebook do not disclose personal information to other companies, beyond what the user accept by installing so-called third party applications; the same applies to photography and video.
• IP addresses are stored for up to 90 days, but only for use by management and security, not for marketing purposes.
• Facebook confirms that they consider themselves to be subject to European privacy laws because they have their European headquarters in Ireland.

Digital content:
• The Norwegian Government has appointed a group to write a white book on digital content and value creation.
• Norwegian music industry is now (2011) having its best year ever. Why? People are willing to pay for content when legal solutions for downloading and streaming with simple payment mechanisms are offered.

Visiting Simula ICT research centre:
Dependable services: Software is everywhere and dealing with software failures is becoming increasingly important. Direct costs of software failure estimated to 22 bn USD pr year. A centre of excellence, Certus Software Verification and Validation Centre is established to work on this. More that 50% women scientists at this centre.
Internet infrastructure of failure: Research on increasing future dependence of internet and lack of robustness on internet. Proposing permanent monitoring infrastructure.
WIMP – the future of music: Wimp is a Norwegian service for streaming, mainly music but also TV. Only paid subscriptions. "Best music distribution in the world." 3G or WiFi. 25% of all Norwegians using streaming services also pay for it. 50% of all Swedes and Norwegian have access to a streaming service, 80% of all Norwegians under 30.
ICT research towards Horizon 2020: On ICT research and education at the University of Oslo. About creating the workforce of tomorrow, to get beyond research based education, using new media to introduce young people to research.

Visit to Seniornett: Network of clubs (130+) to introduce elderly to ICT.

Visit to Norwegian Library for Talking books and Braille: Making talking books, magazines and newspapers available for blind, visually impaired and dyslectics. Material available through CDs, streaming and downloading.

Key note address at NOKIOS, Trondheim, Norwegian Conference on IT solutions for government. Recording of Robert Madelin's presentation here.

Fra Madelins presentasjon av Digital Agenda for Europe i Trondheim
(Litt langt, men jeg tror en del av disse formuleringene vil interessere mange.)

• DAE in a time of economic and social turmoil: We cannot and should not talk about and act on ICT strategies as if we have "business as usual". Are ICT policies losing political attention; focus being changed to other more urgent issues? If yes, then this the right time to sharpen the ICT focus and to present ICT as a principal source of growth. I see this situation as an opportunity rather than a threat.
• Evidence of ICT as a driver for economic growth is gaining momentum.
• eG8 – McKinsey Global Institute: Internet accounts for
o 21% of GDP growth last 5 years in mature economies
o 3.4% of GDP in 13 countries
o 2.6 jobs created for 1 job lost
o 75% on internet impact from trad industries
o 10% prod increase in SMB from Internet use
o SMEs using Web grow and export 2x as much as others
• Europe needs growth. ICT and the Digital Agenda is a driver for growth. The European Council recently asked the Commission to come up with a roadmap on the Digital Single Market, which is a sign of recognition that ICT is an opportunity not to be missed. This is a time for moving the ICT agenda to the front of the political attention.
• One of the burning questions of our time: how to reform and modernise public administrations through the smart use of ICT. We have launched an eGovernment Action Plan for 2011-2015. (
• A second generation of eGovernment services and applications is fast emerging. It is one that feels suited to the challenging economic circumstances of the day, and in line with the Digital Society we see developing around us.
• Firstly, the lack of a fully functioning Digital Single Market. This is particularly relevant to eGovernment. There are very few eGovernment services that work across borders. And this is seriously hampering mobility in the Single Market.
• ICT is there to make our lives easier and our companies more prosperous. However, this is not yet the case. It can be more difficult to trade, work, retire or study anywhere in the EU via on-line procedures than on paper. It should be the other way round.
• Norway is very keen to see progress in this area. As coordinators of the EU Large Scale Pilot on eProcurement (PEPPOL), Difi has invested considerable human, financial and political resources in making sure we achieve seamless, EU-wide electronic procurement.
• Secondly, the ongoing financial crisis forces public administrations to provide better services with ever decreasing resources.
• When every euro is being scrutinised, we must prove that investing in ICT is a smart move for public administrations.
• ICT can actually safeguard services and make a material difference to reducing government expenditure.
• Finally, new technologies allow for services to be designed and delivered in a more open, transparent and collaborative way.
• They can empower business and citizens, fundamentally changing relations between government and the population.
• I think there is now a wide understanding that the next generation of eGovernment is about a new mindset as much as technology.
• There is also a growing acceptance that a significant amount of eGovernment takes place outside the walls of government.
• As public bodies, we should open our doors, and our minds, to third party involvement in the design, production and delivery of government services.
• For this reason the role of the civil servant is also bound to change. New skills, not only technical, will come into play. New ways of doing things, new ways at looking at problems will be needed.
• The aim of the European eGovernment Action Plan is to unleash this potential by creating the right conditions so Europe as a whole can ride this new wave of eGovernment.
• Norway is in a very fortunate situation, being at the front in most of our key indicators. Where does this lead you? Does this lead to complacency, running a business as usual or do you see that there is still more ground to cover?
• Two vital questions for Norway: Are you taking advantage of your fortunate position when you design your ICT policies? Do you still have ambitions to be excellent?
• We expect all Member States to faithfully carry out the 23 Member States actions of the Digital Agenda. For those of the actions relevant to the EEA agreements we also expect Norway to follow up. In some areas it would be of particular interest for the Commission to see courageous Norwegian initiatives. Here are a few:
• Double ICT research spending: This is one of the Member States actions. I do realise that this may be one of the really challenging actions for many Member States these days. But if there is any country that should be able to follow up this, it must be Norway!
• Public sector information: I would like to see Norway lead the way in access to public sector information: Opening up access to public sector information is an important source to stimulate growth. A lot of interesting products have come from public sector information, i.e. all kinds of new applications involving geographical data and weather data. In many countries there seem to be challenges related to the business models chosen to administer geographical data. I presume this is a challenge also for Norway. From a European point of view we see public sector information as an important area of growth where we would like to see Norway taking actively part.
• Cross country and cross sector public services, making it simpler to travel and work across our borders: If working in Norway, I would need to get my health records or tax information from Belgium, UK or Poland. There is still a long way to go, but without efficient solutions in this field we will not see Europe as a single market.
• My last comment in this is: Keep working with and for Europe high on your political agendas. I know that when you are not part of the European political processes it could be easy to downgrade the European engagement. But we need you, your experience, your special perspective and your solutions. Continue to give EU activities a high priority on your agenda, also when it does not concern your prime interests like in oil, fish or energy.

Jeg må ta med noe om rammen rundt: Vår sjef er veldig opptatt av at vi skal ta vår egen medisin. Hvert ”going local” arrangement har sitt eget område på nettet. Dessuten skal vi blogge. Minst ett blogginnlegg før og ett etter turen.
Den norske siden er her:
Bloggen finnes her: (Det første norske blogginnlegget er på plass, men det siste venter på teknisk tilrettelegging. Kommer.)
Og så skal det tvitres.

Jeg tvitrer på @fredarne. Madelin på @eurohumph. Hashtagene er #daelocal og #daelocal_no. På reisen ”konkurrerte” Madelin og jeg om å være først ute med tvitring fra stedene vi besøkte. Madelin er veldig aktiv på Twitter for tiden. Så de nysgjerring oppmuntres til å henge seg på.

José Manuel Barroso har holdt sin State of the Union-tale
Barroso holdt sin “state of the eunion-address” 28. September, i Strasbourg. Talen finnes her: Mer detaljer her:

Et litt spesielt poeng er måten talen fremføres på. Han starter på fransk, fortsetter på engelsk og avslutter på fransk. Ganske elegant.

Når jeg tar opp denne talen i Brusselbrevet, så er det selvsagt knyttet til det som er vår agenda i DG INFSO. Det er jo slik med oss byråkrater at vi leter etter om ”våre” innspill er kommet med. Og det er de.

Hovedtemaet er selvsagt utfordringene knyttet til ikke bare å kutte og balansere budsjetter, men også å skape økonomisk vekst. Og for oss som driver med IKT-politikk er poenget at det vi driver med i Digital Agenda ikke bare er ”kjekt å ha”, men et av de mest sentrale elementene i det å skape økonomisk vekst.

Her er det som ble sagt om IKT-politikken:

“And growth in the future will depend more and more on harnessing information
technology. We need a digital single market, which will benefit each and every
European by around €1500 per year – by using the possibilities of e-commerce to
ending, for instance, mobile roaming charges.
An extra 10 % in broadband penetration would bring us between 1 and 1.5 % of
extra annual growth.”

Noe av grunnlaget disse påstandene fines I den tidligere omtalte rapporten fra McKinsey International til eG8 i juni: Internet matters: The net's sweeping impact on growth, jobs, and prosperity. The Internet accounts for a significant and growing portion of global GDP.

Mye kan tyde på at det kan komme en oppfølger av Digital Agenda allerede til neste år.

Føljetongen om belgisk politikk fortsetter
Det er fortsatt ikke blitt noen ny regjering i Belgia, men mye tyder på at det går fremover. Jeg fortalte i forrige brev om problemene knyttet til kommunene rundt Brussel, det såkalte BHV-problemet. Man hadde visstnok kommet til en form for enighet om styring og valgordninger i disse fire kommunene. Men så viste det seg at en ikke var så enige likevel. Det kom for en dag et det ikke var klart hvilke rettigheter de fransktalende i disse kommunene hadde i forhold til rettsvesenet. Skulle de fransktalende ha rett til å møte fransktalende dommere og fransktalende advokater? Ingen enkelt sak. Språk i retten har vært noe av grunnlaget for stridighetene i Belgia.

De er åtte partier som forhandler. Det flamske populistpartiet er ute. Det konservative flamske partiet blir mer og mer nervøse for at de skal tape enda mer i forhold til de flamske populistene. Den flamske konservative lederen har visstnok flere ganger forlatt forhandlingsbordet i sinne. Men de driver også med forberedelse av budsjettet for 2012. Den sittende statsminister har trukket regjeringsforhandlerne inn i budsjettprosessen. Forrige uke trodde de at en ny regjering kunne være på plass til 12 oktober når parlamentet åpner.

Så langt jeg forstår avisene pågår forhandlingene nå nærmest 24/7. Så vi får fortsatt vente i spenning. Men kanskje en ny regjering egentlig ikke betyr så mye. De styrer jo neste bare forsvar og utenrikspolitikk.

Planen var at dette Brusselbrevet skulle avsluttes med noen sitater fra Madelins blogg, men siden brevet både er blitt veldig langt og det allerede er mye Madelin her, så slutter jeg med å si at turen til Norge var veldig spennende og jeg er lettet over at det gikk bra…

Hilsen Fred-Arne

> Fred Arne Odegaard
Digital Agenda: Policy Co-ordination
Directorate General Information Society and Media
Office : BU25 001/148
European Commission
Tel : +32 2 298 56 66
Fax : +32 2 296 17 80
e-mail :

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