Neelie Kroes gave a passionate plea calling for an end to a divided Europe during her final keynote speech as VP of the Digital Agenda at the European Commission.

Speaking to a full to capacity auditorium at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam, Kroes stated that Europe is split between the digital haves and the analogue have-nots.

Going so far as to compare the connectivity divide of today with the political divisions that marked the second half of the 20th century, Kroes asserted that inertia and vested interest from telco operators is making progress harder than it need be. Making a play on words made famous by Elvis Presley, Kroes called for “a little less confrontation, a little more action” from the sector, with many key industry decision makers present in the room.

Looking to the future, Kroes recognised the need for more investment to create a generation of coders, stating that: “coding is the new literacy”. Her vision is that Europe should develop a common connectivity policy to be able to compete on a global stage.

Neelie Kroes will step down from her position at the European Commission at the end of October this year.