Targeted consultation on the Orientations of the first two years of the proposed Digital Europe programme


Digital transformations in Europe – what is at stake?

The purpose of this consultation is to gather the stakeholders’ views on the key areas, elements and priorities of the initial phases of the future EU Digital Europe programme.

The Digital Europe programme was proposed by the Commission as part of the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027. The programme’s objective is to respond to the harsh challenge Europe is facing in a context of increasing global competition. Global actors are injecting vast amounts of public capital in advanced digital capacities to boost their competitiveness, modernise their public sector and protect their society and economy. However, the EU has been slower than competing regions in investing in the uptake of latest technologies including world-class infrastructures.

In concrete terms, the programme’s aim is to reinforce Europe’s capacities in areas of strategic importance such as high performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity and to make sure they benefit the economy and address societal challenges and citizens’ needs. It plans to achieve this by overcoming the fragmentation of investments, the lack of advanced digital skills and the slow pace of adoption of innovative digital solutions by public administrations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Since Digital Europe will support economies and societies in their digital transformation, it has the potential to bring significant benefits to a wide variety of beneficiaries. By supporting digitalisation and modernisation of public services citizens will benefit from more user-centric services of public interest, be it health, mobility or administrative services. Public administrations will benefit from efficiencies in the provision of services, which better correspond to user needs. Businesses and in particular SMEs will have easy access to strategic capacities like data, artificial intelligence and computing resources for experimenting and testing and hence developing new business ideas. The programme will help technology transfer organisations to take an active role in the deployment of innovative solutions and support them to do so. Finally, the programme has the potential to contribute to climate targets inter alia by providing technology tools for better predicting environmental impacts (HPC), providing techniques for reducing pollution load (e.g. precision farming through AI tools), but also by choosing to promote the use of solutions with a low environmental impact.

This consultation focusses specifically on priorities for the first two years of the Digital Europe programme (2021-2022). We expect public authorities, especially at local level to be interested in this consultation, as well as industry, especially SMEs, but also any citizen who feels involved in the digital transformation.

You will find the Commission proposal for the Digital Europe programme here.
You will also find the Digital Europe programme draft Orientations for 2021-2022 here.

The privacy statement is available here.

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