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European Digital Decade

Paving the way for more digitisation

IF – 12/2022

In March 2021, the European Commission presented its goals and targets for a digital transformation of Europe by 2030 (see DSV-News 08/22). The European Commission proposes several digital principles in its Legislative Proposal. A governance framework to monitor progress is also to be fixed. A digital compass should also help to specifically implement the EU's digital goals for 2030. Already in her State of the Union 2020 speech, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called on Member States to show more leadership in digitisation on a global scale.

Industry and business are in demand

In specific terms, there is a need for a rapid nationwide expansion of the digital infrastructure, especially in the areas of cloud and 5G. Some groups from the European Parliament wanted European funds, for example from the EU Reconstruction Fund, to be used for the expansion of European digitisation. The creation of a single digital market is to be advanced by the programme and more clarity in data protection is to be created.

Negotiations on the fly

In Parliament, the legislative dossier was assigned to the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE). Rapporteur Martina Dlabajova (renew/CZ) published her draft report in March 2022. Thereafter, the European Council and the European Parliament were already able to reach an agreement in only two inter-institutional trialogue negotiations in the summer. The final text was adopted on 24 November in the plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Once the European Council has agreed to the legislative proposal, it will enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

Protection of workers

The agreement also includes a passage on the rights of citizens and workers for equal access to health, sickness and social security systems. These should continue to be maintained and protected. No one should be denied access to social systems, health and care services in the EU because of their medical history, financial status or lack of digital infrastructure.

Outlook

It is now the turn of Member States to ensure the promotion of digital skills by their workers through quality education and training. In order to adapt to the ever-changing world of work, special attention must be paid to the needs of those who will soon reach retirement age or other disadvantaged groups, such as women or the disabled.