Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Digital agenda of EU

Digital agenda: 2013 - 2014

To describe and to understand the EU position on digital based development, one has to understand the scope of policy in terms of research and development, innovation, complexity of business practices, etc. but also what are the copy-right related issues and what are the viewpoints in Europe with regards to 'big players' like Google, especially after NOKIA has been sold to Micro-Soft? It is about requirements of building up and maintaining modern infrastructures or about their entire updating, given the rapid technological changes especially in the areas of communication e.g. 'smart' phones. And while the EU has been pushing and supporting certain developments, there is not nearly enough attention being given to all the ramifications of such a technology led development in cultural and social terms. At this level too often serious problems are dismissed as if technical solutions apply as well to social problems such as isolation, but also reorganization of communication, recognition and awareness patterns. For instance, Twitter with its emphasis upon short messages can replace in depth inquiries and become a matter of fact even though most of these statements are opinionated value judgements. They can even take on the status of iconic symbols or images insofar as someone can say this is an earthquake when relating to some trivial event but which has upset many e.g. the recent incidence with Merkel's mobile phone and the spying activities of NSA.

Some points for clarification of the digital agenda:


Euronews: EU Bigwigs Push Back Kroes Plan Light Reading
In what is bound to be seen as a blow to the plans long championed by the European Commission 's vice president for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, EU ...
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Ten Finger orientation



1. Networking and date related activities - creation of digital infrastructure and related projects

Realtech AG : REALTECH to play major role in the European Union's "CACTOS" project

11/04/2013 |

"Walldorf, November 04, 2013 - REALTECH has been appointed by the European Commission to conduct the technical assessment and validation of a simulation solution designed to optimize large data center infrastructures as part of the corresponding project team.

The CACTOS project was initiated by the European Commission and addresses the challenges that go along with the increasing complexity and heterogeneity of large data centers. Today, it is no longer just large-scale industrial enterprises that have to focus on making their existing systems highly energy-efficient and resource-optimized, the same applies to cloud service providers and operators of large outsourcing centers. The industry, however, lacks the tools needed to simulate and optimize data center scenarios that support operators in planning, purchasing, and rolling out new services and applications. That is exactly the challenge that CACTOS has set out to solve, by addressing it from three different perspectives. The objective of CactoScale is to develop methods and tools for collecting and analyzing data and performance values on the predicted behavior of applications and infrastructures. CactoOpt is a calculation model to support the planning of performance-optimized IT resources and CactoSim provides a simulation environment for testing application workloads.

In addition to REALTECH AG, five other companies, mainly with a scientific background, are involved in the CACTOS project. REALTECH contributes to two very important aspects of the project: The SAP consulting company shares its SAP HANA expertise. This platform serves the project as a research and development platform and is provided by REALTECH. REALTECH is also in charge of validating the research results. The objective here is to assess the results for their suitability for the market and the industry and to take corrective action when necessary.

The CACTOS project was launched in October of 2013 and will take 36 months to complete. Its results will be available free of charge to interested companies. For more information, please visit www.cactosfp7.eu."




2. Cities / Regions - 'smart'


3. Transport / Energy


4. Work in the digital economy and organisation of work

- the visible and invisible work

- paid / unpaid: work schemes with volunteers, low wages, short contracts etc.

- the cyberbees and the negative impact of facing all day only a screen


5. Digital economy

At EU conceptual level of policy making, reference is made to the 'digital economy'. Although efforts were made to advance in this field, Barrosso would admit in public that Europe has fallen behind in comparison to its main competitors. It is difficult to ascertain this kind of assessment even for sure Silicon Valley continues to produce outstanding technical products while the entire technical market seems to have shifted back to the United States.

Most interesting is to examine what EU policy does in terms of making the digital economy be at one and the same time more competitive in between different member states while attempting to unify the digital economy at European level. The question is whether there is an inherent contradiction between funds being given to advance the digital economy and which can be considered at times to be something like subsedies, while on the other hand competition within Europe differs from competition at global level.

European Commission takes another leap to boost cloud computing

European Commission - IP/13/990   28/10/2013

Press declaration:

"The European Commission has today set up an expert group to work on safe and fair terms for cloud computing contracts, on the basis of an optional instrument. The objective is to identify best practices for addressing the concerns of consumers and small companies, who often seem reluctant to purchase cloud computing services because contracts are unclear. The Expert Group is part of the Commission’s push to enhance trust in cloud computing services and unlock their potential for boosting economic productivity in Europe. It is one of the key actions under the Commission's Cloud Computing Strategy, which was adopted last year (IP/12/1025, MEMO/12/713) and is meant to tackle cloud-related issues that go beyond the Common European Sales Law currently under negotiation (MEMO/13/792).

"At the European Council last week, EU leaders called for action to help create a single market for cloud computing. The Commission is delivering its bit. Making full use of the opportunities presented by cloud computing could create 2.5 million extra jobs in Europe and add around 1% a year to EU's Gross Domestic Product by 2020,” said Vice President Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner. "We are asking experts to provide a balanced set of contract terms for consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises to use cloud computing services with more confidence. Trust is bankable – citizens need to be able to trust that the services they use are fair and reliable."

The expert group on cloud computing includes representatives of cloud service providers, consumers and SMEs, academics and legal professionals (see Annex). The first meeting is scheduled for 19-20 November 2013 and the group is expected to report back in spring 2014. The input will feed into a policy paper launching a broad public consultation on possible ways forward on cloud computing contracts for consumers and SMEs.


On 27 September 2012, the European Commission adopted a strategy for "Unleashing the potential of cloud computing in Europe" (IP/12/1025, MEMO/12/713). The strategy is designed to increase the use of cloud computing across the economy. The Expert Group is a key part of this strategy and the Commission's efforts to further boost the Digital Single Market. It builds on other legislative initiatives already put forward such as the EU data protection reform (MEMO/13/923) and the proposed Optional European Sales Law (MEMO/13/792).

The expert group is tasked with helping the Commission to explore ways to improve the legal framework for cloud computing contracts for consumers and SMEs (IP/13/590), so as to strengthen consumers’ and SMEs’ confidence in using cloud computing contracts.

'Cloud computing' refers to the storage of data (such as text files, pictures and video) and software on remote computers, which users access over the internet on the device of their choice. This is faster, cheaper, more flexible and potentially more secure than on-site IT solutions. Many popular services such as Facebook, Spotify and web-based e-mail use cloud computing technologies but the real economic benefits come through widespread use of cloud solutions by businesses and the public sector.

The Commission's Cloud Computing strategy comprises three key actions, one of which aims to identify safe and fair contract terms and conditions for cloud computing contracts. Model contract terms can help to facilitate contractual arrangements between cloud computing service providers and consumers and small firms. They can also facilitate the application of EU data protection rules to the extent that they are relevant to cloud computing contracts.

The European Commission’s data protection reform proposals, which were backed last week by an overwhelming majority in the European Parliament (MEMO/13/923), will also establish a framework that will help encourage the development of cloud computing services. A swift adoption of the data protection reform would support the development of the digital single market, and help ensure that consumers and SMEs will benefit fully from growth in digital services and in cloud computing.

With the proposal for a Common European Sales Law, the Commission has already started to improve the legal framework for cloud computing contracts (MEMO/13/792). A Common European Sales Law will establish an optional EU-wide sales law, including fair and balanced rules, that consumers and SMEs will be able to use when buying digital products like music or software by downloading them from the cloud. The Expert group will do specific complementary work for those issues that lie beyond the Common European Sales Law to make sure that other contractual questions relevant for cloud computing services can be covered as well, by a similar optional instrument."

More information

European Commission – Contract law:


European Commission - Data Protection:


European Commission – Cloud computing:


Homepage of Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Justice Commissioner:


Follow the Vice-President on Twitter: @VivianeRedingEU

Annex: Members of the expert group on safe and fair terms for cloud computing contracts


Contacts :

Mina Andreeva (+32 2 299 13 82)

Natasha Bertaud (+32 2 296 74 56)


6. Culture and Civilization - theatres as carriers of values

Live European Theatre Broadcast  

European Theatre Convention experiments with a new form of digital collaboration
ETC Week Nov 3rd - 10th 2013


On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, the ETC has invited its member theaters to encourage a European future-orientated debate. For one week member theaters dedicate one evening with a performance and a public talk to the ETC focusing on current and exciting topics. For the first time ever, the ETC connects the events across Europe online, streams public talks and broadcast them in real time, accompanied by English speaking bloggers. The audience can comment all talks and public talk participants will response. An interactive public theatre talk will take place.

If you ever wanted to know what's going on in European theaters without traveling check out the website http://webcasts.etc-cte.org! For one week you can participate in the artistic life of 17 theatres in 17 cities. See schedule on the website for detailed information.

You can follow up topics like:

-        The universal child vs. the contemporary theatre in Romania

-        Political theatre: aims & perspectives in France

-        What is the boss of a theatre actually doing? - Germany

-        Text and Body: the question of language on a stage in France

-        Theatre for toddlers - Germany

-        Theatre and new media in Timisoara

-        Bringing new theatre audiences into theatre through the internet and social media in Slovenia

-        Harold Pinter's fortune in today's Europe in Italy

-        The Ageing of the theatre audience. How to bring the young generation in to theatre? - Switzerland

-        The image of TNC for its audience in Romania

Join us and put a link to our webcast on your website. Talk to us and comment the public talks. Contribute to us and spread the information.

Click here to see a video message by Dubravka Vrgoč, President of the ETC: http://vimeo.com/78249919

The European Theatre Convention (ETC) is the biggest European network with about 40 member theatres in over 20 countries. Since its foundation in 1988 the ETC supports and initiates staff exchanges, theatre production exchanges, the mobility of theatre audience, the development of contemporary drama and is working as an advocacy for theatres in the dialogue with EU institutions.


7. Education

Critical for any cultural adaptation to a technical system is the realization technology itself is neutral. It can be applied in New York, Berlin or Cairo as made evident by the types of metro systems which have been installed. Consequently it stands to question whether or not a European Facebook is desirable insofar as the global nature of the Internet allows for a world wide communication and should therefore not be inhibited by artificial constraints. Naturally it is a matter of having your own system, but what kind of negation does this presuppose? When posing that question, there is no need to remind of Freud's little essay called 'die Verneinung' (the negation), insofar as people are negated in their own identity when products 'Made in Germany' have to be produced. Whether or not something similar applies to the new technical systems is another question in need to be answered.

European Commission sets out plans to modernise ICT education

Read more:

Commission vice president Neelie Kroes wants next Google or Facebook to be European.

The European Commission (EC) is to launch its “Opening Up Education” initiative next week, which aims to help young people gain the business skills needed to be part of the next generation of digital entrepreneurs.

EC vice president Neelie Kroes said a lack of teachers skilled in ICT meant young people were not getting the right education and this was holding back Europe.

Why shouldn't the next Facebook, the next Google, the next Kickstarter be European?

Speaking at the FT-Telefonica Millennials Summit in Brussels yesterday, Kroes said ICT education isn't just about putting some PCs in a classroom or giving a school a website.

“The fact is, ICT enables a whole new way of learning. Information is no longer locked up; there is an open world out there for all to explore. Open resources that enable a million different ways to learn. Teachers who are no longer gatekeepers, but guides,” she said.

“If we enable that there's a huge opportunity. Of course there are plenty of barriers: teachers unfamiliar or underequipped. Legal uncertainty on what you can use or share. Or even starting with the basics: in some countries, almost half the pupils don't even have internet at school,” she added.

This has led to the EC “unveiling some proposals to open up education in Europe”, she revealed, to tackle these problems.

Kroes also discussed Startup Europe, the campaign to help the next generation set up businesses in the region.

The initiative has already garnered over 3,000 signatures and Kroes said startups would help innovate and create jobs.

“When people think of internet innovation, they think of Silicon Valley. It’s time they thought also of the vibrant start-up culture we have here in Europe. Giving it more recognition, and the right supporting resources,” said Kroes.

“That's why our Startup Europe initiative is helping all the continent's entrepreneurs. Looking at tools from accelerators to venture capital to crowdfunding.”

Kroes said Europe once led the world in technology.

“Why shouldn’t our people have hope in a digital future? Why shouldn't Europe be the home of a vibrant digital culture, strong digital companies, and limitless digital creativity,” she asked.

“Why shouldn't the next Facebook, the next Google, the next Kickstarter be European? I think they can. We have the tools, we have the technology, we definitely have the talent. And in a connected continent there is no limit to our ambitions.”
Read more:



8. Poetry, Literature and Language

Lyrik online in Berlin is a good example of making accessible poets and their poems in both the original language (both in written and audio form with the poet often reading his or her own poems).


9. Health


10. European Cultures - the European Capital of Culture project (ongoing) with Marseille 2013 an example of not necessarily over emphasizing the digital age but rather in letting anthropological and ethnological categories determine the structure of cultural mediation.

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