Why this Manifesto?

The world we live in today is radically different from our reality only ten years ago. Our social and economic activities are shifting towards the net and advancements in technology are only speeding up this process. Europe has been the birthplace of world-changing revolutions, such as the first industrialisation, and it has been a centre of innovation for centuries to follow. While Europe is still at the forefront of innovation and inventions, many European digital players seem to have difficulties scaling up to the same extent as their foreign competitors. The most valuable global companies of today are digital – and are born either in the US or China.

Yet, the US and China follow very different economic and social models. While the US focuses on the freedom of the individual and the market, China combines state control with capitalism. In competition with those two models, Europe finds itself “in between” without a clear definition of its role. This applies not only to global politics, but also to European policies related to the competitiveness of the European digital economy.

Growing a strong and independent digital industry is thus fundamental to ensuring Europe’s economic prosperity in the future. Even more, digital autonomy and sovereignty are key elements to maintain and protect our free and democratic societies.

Building on Europe's strength

The European Union is the economically most prosperous union of states in the world. Europe is home to innovative companies, to outstanding basic research and has a strong industrial base. We are also home to a well-educated workforce who benefits from the highest standards of living worldwide. Furthermore, Europe is the continent which guarantees most freedom, equal opportunities and security to its citizens – while following a sustainable approach and environmental consciousness. A pillar of Europe’s success is small and medium sized companies (SMEs): They make up 99% of all businesses in the European Union. From 2013 until today, SMEs provided approximately 85% of new jobs and accounted for over two thirds of the total employment on the continent.  SMEs are integrated in local communities and active on global markets at the same time.

Moving ahead in the digital century

We should have the confidence to build on the potential of innovation, creativity and autonomy of our citizens and companies. DIGITAL SME believes that Europe needs to apply strategic thought to use the opportunities of the digital revolution to the fullest. It is time to understand our strengths, to build on them and to create the right conditions for our companies to flourish. Only a thriving digital industry with solid small and medium sized companies can help Europe maintain its digital autonomy and take full advantage of the digital revolution.