The president of the European Commission has asked member states to follow the UK’s example in appointing a “digital champion” to encourage more people to use the Internet, according to the EC’s commissioner for the digital agenda Neelie Kroes.
Speaking at the London Conference on Cyberspace, Kroes said she was inspired to ask president José Manuel Durão Barroso to make the recommendation by the UK’s digital champion, Lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox.
“The UK has done a great job in appointing a digital ‘angel’, and Martha Lane Fox has done a tremendous job in getting more people online,” Kroes said.
She made the revelation while discussing the social benefits of the Internet. Kroes said that although much has been achieved, benefits such as electronic healthcare records require that more elderly people use the Internet.
In response to Kroes’ remarks, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude joked: "There’s only one Martha Lane Fox, and you can’t have her".