State of the Union sets out a path for Europe's Digital Decade

Submitted by Imogen Allan on 16 September 2021

The pandemic highlighted the key role that digital technology plays in building a sustainable and prosperous future for the EU.  

In particular, the crisis exposed the divide between businesses that are digitally capable and those yet to adopt digital solutions. It also showed the gap between urban and rural areas. 

To address this, the European Commission proposed a Path to the Digital Decade at the State of the Union address on 15 September. 

Setting out a clear list of objectives, the plan aims to achieve a digital transformation of the EU’s society by 2030. 

The EUʼs digital ambitions for 2030 set up a concrete framework to reach targets in: 

  • digital skills  

  • digital infrastructure 

  • digitalisation of businesses and public services 

In line with European values, the Digital Decade should promote sustainable digital policies empowering citizens and businesses, as well as create new employment opportunities in areas such as cybersecurity. 

Speaking of plan, Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for ‘A Europe Fit for the Digital Age', said: “The European vision for a digital future is one where technology empowers people. So today we propose a concrete plan to achieve the digital transformation. For a future where innovation works for businesses and for our societies. We aim to set up a governance framework based on an annual cooperation mechanism to reach targets in the areas of digital skills, digital infrastructures, digitalisation of businesses and public services.” 

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, said: “Europe is determined to lead in the global technological race. Setting ourselves 2030 targets was an important step, but now we need to deliver. We must ensure that Europe is not in a position of great dependence in the years to come. Otherwise, we will remain too exposed to the ups and downs of the world, and miss out on economic growth and job creation. I believe in a Europe that leads on the markets of the future, not one that is a mere subcontractor.” 

To ensure Europe is achieving its digital objectives, the proposed framework would include a progress monitoring system based on the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).  

The Commission will then submit a report on the ‘State of the Digital Decade' every year to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to measure Member States’ progress and ensure nobody is left behind.  

Find out more about the Path to the Digital Decade here. 

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Tune in to the State of the Union Address in September
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