In front of us lies a rather unique study. Unique in respect of both its initiative and its set up. This study is the result of a private initiative of an international organization of management consultancy firms. It is the first time that such a broad international study was undertaken jointly by individual consulting firms in many different countries. Moreover the method used can be characterized as 'from the bottom up'. Representatives of almost 100 organizations in seven European countries were interviewed by seven individual management consultancy firms on the basis of their own reputation and contacts. Not only the well-known multinationals in the information and communication industry participated, but also medium-sized and small companies as well as government agencies. The study focuses on one sector of industry that is considered to be of prime importance for employment in Europe, viz. the information and communication industry.
It is generally assumed that important instruments for the stimulation and strengthening of Europe's position in this field are: reduction of competition within Europe better coordination of R&D efforts improved harmonization of rules, standards and regulations better coordination and education programmes increased stimulation and guidance by governments. This study puts these assumptions to the test. It assesses the state of the art regarding these instruments and identifies the actions needed to improve the present situation.