Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2016-02-24-Speech-1-226-000"

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"Madam President, thank you to colleagues, the shadows, the Council and the Commission. The importance of the single market has been heard today and we know that we have the beauty of the single market, but balancing that with social rights is some strength that we have within this European Union. Many colleagues have spoken about the issue of digital, and I would like to touch on the importance of the digital single market in my final remarks. We are experiencing this Fourth Industrial Revolution. You just need to look across at colleagues while this debate has been going on, with everyone on their smartphones. In fact, by 2021, 70% of all handsets will be smartphones. By 2020 there will be 14 billion network devices and 3.2 billion people using the internet. Mobile traffic alone has grown by 65% from Quarter 4 in 2014 to Quarter 4 in 2015. We are truly experiencing this revolution, and this links into the Semester and the single market. There are three points I want to make: accessibility when it comes to the digital single market strategy; accessibility to superfast broadband and infrastructure; and accessibility to ensure that those who have the least also have access to this revolution. We do not want the digital divide to become a digital chasm. On skills, we look at the range from just switching on a computer right through to becoming a software developer. In fact, while we have been speaking in this Chamber, one of the great initiatives called CodeClan has been happening in Scotland. This allows people who want to be software engineers to be able to do that within a three- to four-month period. This is about lifelong learning and about mindset – a mindset that, no matter if you are a small business or a multinational, we all have to get real about digital. Therefore I think we have an opportunity through the Semester, and through the single market, to make the European Union one of the most digitally-savvy spaces in the planet, and this is the opportunity we have now."@en1

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