Digital technologies are quickly changing our economy and our society. The digital revolution is responsible for a whole raft of new opportunities and over the years to come will be one of the strongest drivers for growth, jobs and well-being.

Our country needs to grasp these opportunities with both hands.

"Digital Belgium" is the action plan, which outlines the digital long-term vision for our country and translates this into clear ambitions. On the basis of five clear, specific priorities we would like to put Belgium more firmly on the digital map.

This plan is not just a paper exercise. With a focused strategy and sustained effort by 2020 it must be possible for Belgium to get into the digital top three of the European Digital Economy and Society Index, for 1,000 new start-ups to take root in our country and for the digital revolution to deliver 50,000 new jobs in a variety of sectors.

In order to be successful in this, it's all about working together and sharing know-how. Because tomorrow's network economy cannot be entrapped in yesterday's structures. "Digital Belgium" is not just a vision and a plan, but it's also an invitation to join hands and together to shape our digital future.

Alexander De Croo,

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Digital Agenda

Next
Every year mobile traffic doubles, and internet traffic doubles every two to three years. Investment into digital infrastructure is necessary so that the digital economy can continue to grow.
In order to be able to grow, the digital economy needs confidence and security. That means respecting rights and strategically and effectively tackling illegal practices. Only when citizens and businesses have full confidence that their data is safe online, can the digital economy achieve its full potential.
In the future nine out of ten jobs will require digital skills. Governments then also need to monitor that as many citizens as possible, irrespective of their age and background, are able to take advantage of the necessary digital opportunities.
According to calculations by the Lisbon Council, over the next few years digital innovations will be responsible for creating five new jobs for every two that disappear. Digitalisation encourages people to be entrepreneurial and brings new players into the field.
Both citizens and businesses need to be able to conduct all communication with the government digitally by 2020 and to be able to do so using a user-friendly channel.
Next
x

DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Every year mobile traffic doubles, and internet traffic doubles every two to three years. Investment into digital infrastructure is necessary so that the digital economy can continue to grow.

"Digital Belgium" is focussing on a state-of-the-art network infrastructure, which is ready to fully exploit the "internet of things" and "big data".

THE STIMULUS FOR ULTRA-FAST INTERNET

Ultra-fast internet is the lifeline for a digital ecosystem. "Digital Belgium" wishes to continue to advance the pioneer role that Belgium plays in rolling out new technologies for ultra-fast internet. By lowering costs and reducing the administrative burden, we are encouraging operators towards a continued roll-out of an advanced broadband infrastructure. Using a mix of technologies, we ensure that everyone is given access to the internet.

icon-ultra-speed-stimulation

DYNAMIC POSTAL & TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKETS

Competition in the telecoms sector ensures that citizens and businesses are able to take advantage of interesting and innovative services at the right prices.

The government will create a level playing field so that all relevant domestic and foreign service providers in the postal and telecoms sector in Belgium will be able to compete in a balanced way. A cohesive and stable framework is needed to boost investment and innovation without losing sight of the competition. Digital customers must be able to change operator easily.

icon-dynamic-post-telecom-markets

DIGITAL HUB FOR BUSINESSES

With an attractive infrastructure in terms of connectivity, data storage and ICT applications, we are making our country a place where online businesses are established and create new jobs. Powerful equipment attracts businesses, who use digital facilities, take for instance e-commerce, app developers and media businesses. In this way we can make Belgium one of the digital hubs in Europe.

icon-digital-hub-compagnies
Next
x

DIGITAL CONFIDENCE AND DIGITAL SECURITY

In order to be able to grow, the digital economy needs confidence and security. That means respecting rights and strategically and effectively tackling illegal practices. Only when citizens and businesses have full confidence that their data is safe online, can the digital economy achieve its full potential.

TACKLING ILLEGAL CONTENT AND PRACTICES

We are building a modern legal framework, which protects citizens and businesses against illegal content and activities on the net. New measures such as online resolution of consumer disputes or efficient procedures against illegal online content ensure that the same protection applies online as offline.

icon-juridical-protection

SAFE AND PRIVACY-FRIENDLY ONLINE ENVIRONMENT

Technology and its associated risks are evolving at brakeneck speed. Everyone needs to realise that an online front door also needs to be properly locked. We are supporting initiatives to raise awareness amongst children, adults and businesses about how they can use the Internet in a safe and privacy-friendly manner.

icon-online-safety

CYBER SECURITY

The Centre for Cyber Security is devising a cyber security strategy for Belgium both in relation to information security and network security, and in relation to the fight against (organised) cyber crime. The centre also provides advice on how to more effectively protect businesses, consumers and public services.

Because citizens, businesses and governments are increasingly dependent on telecom infrastructures, and are therefore particularly vulnerable when a crisis occurs, the Centre for Cyber Security provides a plan for emergency and crisis situations.

icon-online-security
Next
x

DIGITAL SKILLS AND JOBS

In the future nine out of ten jobs will require digital skills. Governments then also need to monitor that as many citizens as possible, irrespective of their age and background, are able to take advantage of the necessary digital opportunities. Obtaining the minimum amount of digital skills is crucial for this.

DigitalChampions.be

Following the Grand Coalition on ICT jobs at European level, Belgium is to set up “DigitalChampions.be”. DigitalChampions.be is an alliance bringing together stakeholders from various governments, education and the private sector. It undertakes initiatives so that all citizens, irrespective of their age and background, are given the opportunity to strengthen their digital skills.

By working hand in hand, governments, education and the private sector shall ensure that anyone who wants to can be ‘digitally immersed’. Workshops teach children programming and e-safety. Digital technologies are granted a central place in learning environments and students are able to undertake digital placements. It is important for adults and senior citizens to be able to continue to develop their learning at any time.

Do you wish to become a digital champion yourself? Then click here.

icon-national-coalition-skills-jobs

DIGITAL INCLUSION

Not everyone has the resources, the skills or the self-confidence to make the most of the many opportunities opened up by new digital technologies. By taking targeted measures, we want to eliminate the digital divide and ensure that no one is left behind.

The Internet has the power to interconnect people. That is why we are also promoting the enormous opportunities, which the Internet opens up to connect people: to engage them in public debate, to put them in contact with a new employer or to stay in contact with family or carers from home.

icon-digital-inclusion

MOBILE INTERNET FOR EVERYONE

Belgium needs a campaign to catch up in terms of penetration of mobile internet. We are overturning the backlog of recent years to make way for progress. A new campaign will inform citizens about all of the benefits of mobile internet.

To give everyone access to mobile internet, inexpensive smartphones with simple applications and mobile subscriptions offering sufficient data must be available.

icon-mobile-internet-everyone
Next
x

DIGITAL ECONOMY

According to calculations by the Lisbon Council, over the next few years digital innovations will be responsible for creating five new jobs for every two that disappear. Digitalisation encourages people to be entrepreneurial and brings new players into the field. The result is more robust competition, more innovation and increased quality of service.

"Digital Belgium" supports an approach, which boosts the digital economy and expands the prospect of jobs and growth.

FOCUS ON START-UPS

Start-ups are the lifeblood of the digital economy. The digital giants of tomorrow are born today. Although a lot of money in Belgium is being put into savings accounts, promising start-ups find it difficult to attract capital to finance their growth. A start-up plan must help them in this offering a tax shelter for start-ups and fiscal incentives for crowdfunding. Lower wage costs and an investment allowance for digital investments also represent ways of providing support.

icon-tax-benefits-investment-startups

DIGITAL-FRIENDLY LEGISLATION

Still too many barriers in terms of legislation stand in the way of companies and consumers making the transition to the digital world. These barriers need to be removed. Innovative business models, for example in the sharing economy, need to be able to operate in a legally stable framework providing prospects for growth.

icon-digitally-compatible-legislation

E-COMMERCE PLATFORM

The Belgian e-commerce sector needs to take every opportunity to make up for the shortfall compared to other countries. For this purpose, the government and the e-commerce sector are coming together in the e-commerce platform that is being set up. The platform makes it possible to enter into dialogue, to identify issues and to work out solutions, for example in terms of growth-friendly taxation, innovative online payment systems and logistical challenges.

An initial specific initiative for e-commerce involves making night-time work possible.

icon-e-commerce-platform

E-INVOICING

From 2016 the government will make electronic invoicing a systematic obligation for its suppliers. This radical departure will have a multiplier effect; other companies will take their lead from the government. Businesses, which invoice electronically, actually have a competitive advantage internationally. For citizens who want it, paper-based communication will continue to be possible.

icon-e-invoicing

E-SIGNATURE & E-ARCHIVING

We are creating a cohesive framework for using the electronic signature, the electronically recorded delivery and a number of trust services such as electronic seals, timestamps or web site authentication.

By incorporating the required guarantees about the identity and the reliability of parties, we ensure that citizens and businesses have complete confidence in online transactions.

icon-e-signature-e-archiving

DIGITAL HEALTH VALLEY

Mobile technology is transforming the delivery of health care, the approach towards prevention and following up treatments. This provides important advantages both for patients, health care practitioners and the health economy. Patients are able to monitor their health more effectively, doctors can work more efficiently and the development of innovative care applications is given a boost.

An ambitious mobile health plan and joint ventures between innovative companies, the health world and the public sector strengthen patients, give health workers access to new tools and empower Belgian companies to help to play a global role in the health sector of tomorrow.

icon-mobile-health
Next
x

DIGITAL GOVERNMENT

Both citizens and businesses need to be able to conduct all communication with the government digitally by 2020 and to be able to do so using a user-friendly channel.

Digital portal

Citizens must be able to report all of their ‘life events’ to the government digitally. Using a single user-friendly, high-performance digital portal citizens will be able to make use of all of the federal government's services.

Everything in one place: citizens need to submit their personal data to the government, assuming it remains unamended, once only and not need to resubmit it over and over.

icon-digital-services-citizens

Businesses and start-ups

Businesses must be able to submit all important key events digitally. The emphasis in this must be on developing a digital process for establishing a business, and digital processes for editing information recorded in the ‘Kruispuntbank voor Ondernemingen’ (Central Enterprise DataBank).

Unamended data only needs to be submitted once, and not resubmitted over and over. This will significantly lighten the administrative load.

The government will also support innovation by giving start-ups a chance at government contracts.

icon-digital-services-businesses

NEXT GENERATION OPEN DATA

Public data belonging to the federal government must by definition be accessible, with a few exceptions based on privacy and security. Transparent access to data means a better democratic process. That is why we will ensure that this data is accessible in a user-friendly manner using a single open data portal.

icon-open-data

OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY

Government management will be encouraged to carefully follow ICT government contracts and to create efficiencies by further digitizing services and processes. The government will also utilise new technologies, such as social media and big data, and shall do so with a clear objective: providing better services at lower cost.

icon-connecting-agencies
Next

x

.

Next

Digital Minds

"Digital Minds for Belgium" is a group of thinkers and doers with a rich experience in the digital world. They share the passion to build a digital Belgium and to co-author "Digital Belgium", the action plan intended to firmly put Belgium on the digital map.

They regularly come together and support digital initiatives, always with the same objectives in mind: more jobs, more growth and greater prosperity.

Who are they?

  • Michael Beal, Microsoft
  • Benjamin Beeckmans, Feweb, Bluecorp
  • Karen Boers, startups.be
  • Patricia Ceysens, BE Commerce
  • Bruno Colmant, Vlerick, LSM, ICHEC
  • Wim De Waele, iMinds
  • Jos Donvil, VOO
  • Thierry Geerts, Google
  • Jean-Marc Harion, Mobistar
  • Peter Hinssen, Nexxworks
  • Geert Houben, Cubigo
  • Danielle Jacobs, Beltug
  • Marc Lambotte, Agoria
  • Dominique Leroy, Belgacom
  • Frank Maene, Volta Ventures
  • Dominique Michel, Comeos
  • Henri- Jean Pollet, ISPA
  • John Porter, Telenet
  • Toon Vanagt, Casius, Lean Fund
  • Peggy Valcke, ICRI
  • Saskia Van Uffelen, Ericsson
  • Robin Wauters, tech.eu
Next

Ideas box

Do you have a question about "Digital Belgium"? Would you like to make a suggestion about what could be done better? Then please fill in the form below. We will respond to your question as quickly as possible.

Contact

Digital Belgium

Finance Tower
Kruidtuinlaan 50 bus 61,
1000 Brussel
Tel: +32 2 792 99 00
Fax: +32 2 792 99 01