The European Council’s digital commitments must now be backed in each national recovery plan
The special European Council Summit reaffirmed the leaders’ commitment to a digital and industrial strategy centred on boosting innovation and technology capabilities. Now is time to back these talks not only in the EU work programme, but also in the national spending plans that each Member State will present.
“By confirming President von der Leyen’s 20% target for digital investment, European leaders have today delivered an impressive statement of intent: Europe’s recovery will take us forward, not back.
Digital spending is not an end in itself, but investment in new technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing is an essential driver for a greener and more competitive post-COVID economy. Spending on digital skills and boosting high-quality connectivity will ensure that everyone can benefit and no one is left behind.
We look forward to seeing these types of projects reflected in the national spending plans of each Member State. The digital sector is ready and willing to provide the know-how.”
Beyond the funding aspects, we particularly welcome the ambition shown on common data spaces in strategic sectors, on cybersecurity, on the deployment of 5G and fibre infrastructures, and the statements in support of open trade.
In our manifesto in 2019, DIGITALEUROPE set our 22 concrete KPIs to measure our progress to becoming a stronger digital Europe.
For example, we said that by 2025 Members States and companies across Europe should have retrained one-fifth of the workforce, and that Europe should have saved 26 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions by digitising resource-intensive sectors.
We are extremely pleased to see this benchmarking being taken up at the highest level with the Digital Compass initiative.