• What is the value of digital businesses, such as AirBnB, Spotify or lastminute.com, to Europe’s economy?
  • How can more businesses and entrepreneurs – across all sectors – take advantage of the internet?
  • And how can policy best support this growth?

These are some of the big questions Europe needs to get right. The opportunities of a digital-friendly policy environment are huge; if harnessed correctly, a Digital Single Market could add up to €415 billion per year to Europe’s economy.

So what is holding us back?

Too many debates around the impact of digitisation are fuelled by hype and opinions, not data and evidence. The erratic regulation of disruptive businesses like Uber is just one example where regulation came first, and a closer look at evidence on the possibly positive impact of new digital business models later.

A poll conducted by Readie found that nine out of ten of the European policymakers* asked said that digitisation was either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to their work in the next year. However, finding actionable evidence to evaluate the impact of digitisation is currently difficult, due to various barriers. For example, 47 per cent of polled policy-makers considered existing evidence on the impact of digitisation as not robust, while 40 per cent said a key issues was that available evidence was not user friendly.

Readie: helping Europe get ready for digital

Readie’s mission is to empower policy and decision makers in Europe with better access to robust, relevant and rigorous evidence on the economic impact and opportunities of the internet. We are launching with 40 members from organisations spanning 13 European countries, ranging from the London School of Economics and Political Science to Sweden’s Agency for Growth Policy Analysis. This website shows you which activities we have planned for the coming year to help Europe build a strong digital economy.

What’s next:

Better data on the impact of the internet, and evidence on what policies do – and do not – foster growth have to be a key ingredient of any digital roadmap. We hope to hear from you on how we can work together!

To stay on top of the big digital trends, new evidence, reusable case studies and crisp insights into existing policy initiatives, sign up to our monthly newsletter at the bottom of this page.

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*Readie polled over 70 European policy-makers in business and innovation ministries from 25 EU member states and the European Commission in September and October 2015

Photo Credit: seb joguet via Compfight cc