Shortly before the
summer break, the Council and the European Parliament reached a preliminary
agreement on the policy programme "Path to the
Digital Decade" for 2030, which was previously presented by
the Council last September. Its overall objective is implementing the digital
changes in line with EU values.
The programme aims to
strengthen the promotion of inclusive and sustainable policies for EU digital
leadership – for the benefit of both, the citizens and business. Digital change
in Europe is to be shaped through pan-union digital objectives, joint efforts
implemented by the member states and the EU as well as joint investments. The
direction is given through the European Commission’s so-called Digital Compass, that was released in
March 2021, for the four areas of skills, secure and sustainable digital
infrastructures, digital transformation in companies and the digitalization of
public services and specific
targets have also been defined for the period up to 2030. The objective-oriented
digital changes should contribute to a modern, competitive, well-educated and
prosperous society within the EU.
Clarification of definitions and multi-country project concept
The preliminary agreement reached by the Council and the European
Parliament specified several definitions involving the programme's general
objectives, focused on strengthening human rights, transparency and security
and promoted digital literacy.
concept involving multi-country projects was also specified in the text. These
are large-scale projects that pool funds from the EU, member states and the
private sector. This is intended to achieve progress that could not be achieved
by one member state working alone. Investing will be made easier in the
following sectors: high-performance computing, shared data infrastructures and services, blockchains, power efficient processors,
pan-European 5G corridor development, high-tech digital skills partnerships,
secure quantum infrastructure and a network of cyber-security centres, digital public services, testing facilities and digital innovation centres.
New: close cooperation between member states and European Commission
programme is also introducing a new way of governing together. Close cooperation between member
states and the European Commission is intended to ensure that the EU can
realise its objectives. It is envisaged that the European
Commission, together with the member states, will develop EU-level target paths
for each EU digital objective. Member states will develop national target paths
and strategic roadmaps; their review is planned for 2026. The European Commission
will assess the progress made with regard to the "Path to the
Digital Decade" based on DESI (Digital Economy and the
Society Index) in its annual report, which will also be submitted to the
European Parliament and the Council. During the negotiations, the Members of Parliament attached great importance to the European Parliament having a strong
control function in achieving the digital objectives by 2030.
Digital rights and principles are already guiding current activities
The programme has been guiding
the European Commission's activities since its publication in March 2021. This
applies in particular to digital rights and principles. The overall objective
of "ensuring fairness, transparency and accountability in algorithmic
management" included in the proposed
directive on improving working conditions in platform work is based on these principles. The broad european level consensus
is also evident here. This objective received much support during the initial
discussions about the proposed directive held in both the European Parliament
and the Council.
preliminary agreement now has to be approved by both, the Council and the European Parliament. The Czech Presidency of
the Council, which has been in charge since July 1, intends to submit an
agreement to the country's deputy permanent representatives for approval as soon as possible.