Digital technologies are profoundly changing our daily life, our way of working and doing business, and the way people travel, communicate, and relate with each other. Digital communication, social media interaction, e-commerce, and digital enterprises are steadily transforming our world. They are generating an ever-increasing amount of data, which, if pooled and used, can lead to a completely new means and levels of value creation. It is a transformation as fundamental as that caused by the industrial revolution.
The European Commission has published the European Digital Strategy as well as the European strategy for data on 19 February 2020. In both Communications, the Commission sets out a vision of the EU powered by digital solutions that are strongly rooted in European values and EU fundamental rights. Both Communications also emphasize the intent to strengthen “European technological sovereignty”, which in the Commission’s view will enable the EU to define its own rules and values in the digital age. The Communications set out the Commission’s plans to achieve this vision.
For the next five years, the Commission will focus on three key objectives to support its vision towards a digital transformation that works for the benefit of all European citizens:
- ‘Technology that works for people’,
- ‘A fair and competitive digital economy’ and
- ‘An open, democratic and sustainable digital society’.
The strategy for data mainly consists of initiatives for common European data spaces in various strategic sectors. This includes the ‘Common European skills data space’, which will support Member States in the development of digital credential transformation plans and in the preparation of re-usable datasets of qualifications and learning opportunities (2020-2022).
Simultaneously, the Commission also released the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence, which outlines an approach for leveraging AI technology, and includes a focus on skills to fill competence shortages. The paper mentions that the Commission will soon present a reinforcement of the Skills Agenda, which aims to “ensure that everyone in Europe can benefit from the green and digital transformations of the EU economy.” See the full paper on the Commission’s website.
The full details of the Digital and Data strategies can be found here.