But only if Europe gets a digital jolt.

TH – 07/2019

On 7 June 2019, the EU Council of Ministers adopted Conclusions on the future of a highly digitised Europe beyond 2020 entitled ‘Boosting digital and economic competitiveness across the Union and digital cohesion’.


The Conclusions highlight the importance of full coverage and widespread use of ultra-fast broadband; the best way to achieve this is through ‘combined and coordinated investments at EU level’. European policy must support innovation and foster European key digital technologies.

The rapid deployment of emerging digital technologies is considered to be of paramount importance and the document therefore emphasises the need to further develop ultra-fast digital infrastructure, including 5G; for example, by heavily promoting such initiatives across the continent. The Conclusions also address Europe’s cybersecurity capabilities, digital skills and the Gigabit Society. Furthermore, artificial intelligence should follow the EU’s current path, meaning that ethical principles and values need to be particularly taken into consideration.


The document also recognises the importance of transparency, fairness, accountability and responsibility in the use of algorithms, so that online platforms can be operated transparently and predictably throughout the EU. 

A political message

It is also stressed that no one should be left behind in the digital transformation. Therefore, gender equality must be taken into account in all areas of digitalisation, including an increase in the number of women in technology, and that all vulnerable groups can reap the benefits of digitalisation.

The conclusions should be seen as a political message to the next leadership of the European Commission. It refers to the key priorities it should address in order to ensure a strong, competitive, innovative and ultimately highly digitised Europe.


The Conclusions can be viewed here.