The Council adopted the 2030 policy programme ‘Path to the Digital Decade’, which ensures that the EU meets its objectives for a digital transformation in line with EU values.
The decision aims to strengthen the EU’s digital leadership by promoting inclusive and sustainable digital policies that serve citizens and businesses. To this end, it sets out the concrete digital targets that the EU and its member states aim to reach by the end of the decade in four areas:
- strengthening digital skills and education
- secure and sustainable digital infrastructures
- digital transformation of businesses
- digitalisation of public services
Today, only half of the European adult population has basic digital skills, and our businesses suffer from the lack of the necessary infrastructure. This programme will ensure that the whole economy and society can embark on a well-targeted digital transformation train. Digital skills and enhanced infrastructure are essential for the prosperity, security and resilience of our society.
Ivan Bartoš, Czech Deputy Prime Minister for Digitalization and Minister of Regional Development
The policy programme introduces a novel form of governance based on cooperation between the member states and the Commission to ensure that the Union jointly achieves its ambitions. The initiative will enable EU countries to work closely together and pool resources in order to make progress on digital capabilities and technologies that individual member states could not reach on their own. The ultimate goal is to achieve a digital transformation that empowers citizens and businesses, in line with the EU’s values.
Infographic – ‘Path to the Digital Decade’: the EU’s plan to achieve a digital Europe by 2030: See full infographic
The decision clarifies several definitions of the programme’s general objectives with an emphasis on strengthening the fundamental rights, transparency, and security, and on promoting digital skills. To reach these common objectives, the member states will work together, assessing progress and taking measures where necessary.
The Commission will develop EU-level trajectories for each of the EU’s digital targets together with the member states. The latter will draft national trajectories and strategic roadmaps to attain these targets until their expected review in 2026. Progress will be monitored on the basis of the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) and will be evaluated in the Commission’s annual report on the “State of the Digital Decade”.
The concept of multi-country projects providing for further cooperation and shared investment to help achieve the targets is also developed in the decision. These are large-scale projects pooling EU, national, and private resources to achieve progress that no member state could do on its own.
The policy programme will facilitate investments in areas like high-performance computing, common data infrastructure and services, blockchain, low-power processors, pan-European development of 5G corridors, high-tech partnership for digital skills, secure quantum infrastructure and network of cybersecurity centres, digital public administration, testing facilities and digital innovation hubs.
The decision also provides for an effective cooperation mechanism between the Member States and the Commission with a view to achieving the programme’s objectives.
The text of the decision will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union in the coming days and will enter into force the twentieth day after this publication.
The Commission communication ‘2030 Digital Compass: The European way for the Digital Decade’ of 9 March 2021 sets out a vision of the EU successfully achieving a digital transition by 2030. The EU’s ambition is to be digitally sovereign in an open and interconnected world, and to pursue digital policies that allow people and businesses to have a human centred, inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous digital future.
In its conclusions of 25 March 2021, the European Council stressed the importance of the digital transformation for the Union’s recovery, prosperity, security, and competitiveness and for the well-being of our societies. It identified the digital compass communication as a step towards mapping Europe’s digital development for the next decade. It called on the Commission to use all available instruments in the field of industrial, trade and competition policy. In light of these ambitions and challenges, the Commission proposed on 15 September 2021 a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Digital Policy Programme ‘Path to the Digital Decade’.
- Decision on the 2030 Policy Programme “Path to the Digital Decade”
- Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the 2030 Policy Programme “Path to the Digital Decade”
Source: Path to the Digital Decade: EU Council adopts key policy programme for EU’s digital transformation