September 02, 2005, 17:20 BST
The EU's project for strengthening Europe's IT industry has been met with a certain sense of scepticism by UK IT trade body Intellect
European Union proposals to reform the regulation of ICT and boost technology innovation across Europe have been criticised by the UK IT industry for being too fragmented and not in sync with wider policy initiatives.
The EU's i2010 strategy aims to tailor new regulations better to the digital economy, boost ICT research by increasing the EU's research budget, and foster "digital inclusion" for all sections of society.
One of the goals is to raise the percentage of broadband-connected households from 9 to 50 percent across Europe and increase the minimum speed to 3Mbps.
But UK IT trade association group Intellect is warning that a failure to get i2010 right could see Europe fall even further behind China and India as a competitive technology force.
Tom Wills-Sandford, policy director at Intellect, welcomed the proposals but said it is vital to adopt regulatory frameworks consistent with the digital economy.
"However, Intellect's support for i2010 is tempered by a concern that only lip service is paid to the need for policy convergence, and our calls to action are guided by this concern," he said in a statement.
Intellect is calling for policy creators and regulators to take a horizontal rather than a vertical market approach to industry, and said the IT industry must be fully engaged and brought into the policy development process before any directives are drafted.