Legislation setting up a roadmap for digital skills, infrastructure, businesses and public services was informally agreed upon by MEPs and the Czech Presidency of the Council, on Thursday.
The “Path to the Digital Decade” plan aims to shape Europe's digital transition by setting EU-wide digital targets to be achieved by 2030, via a joint effort by Member States and the Union level, as well as through joint investment. It aims in particular to:
- ensuring that 80% of the population aged 16-74 has at least basic digital skills,
- deploy 10.000 climate neutral highly secure edge nodes,
- bring at least 75% of European enterprises to use cloud computing services, big data and Artificial Intelligence,
- ensuring that more than 90% of European SMEs should have reached at least a basic level of digital intensity.
The scheme also aims to secure that democratic life and key public services are fully accessible online for everyone, and that all EU citizens have access to their medical e-records by 2030.
The legislation will support Multi Country Projects and provide for a legal structure and allow co-funding by several Member States, the Commission as well as public and private investors.
During negotiations, MEPs ensured that the European Parliament can play a strong scrutiny role in the process of achieving the digital targets by 2030.
"Europe has just stepped on the path to Digital Decade and started to build a framework to accelerate the EU successful digital transition by 2030" said lead MEP Martina Dlabajová (Renew, CZ).
"Today’s agreement will foster new opportunities for businesses, including SMEs and start-ups, as well as concrete benefits for our citizens in their everyday life. It will also set in motion a cohesive approach to build synergies across different EU programmes and among Member States, to leverage new cooperation models with the Multi-Country Projects. I consider today's tripartite agreement to be a huge success and I am extremely proud that it was achieved during the Czech presidency" she added.
The informal agreement will now have to be approved by both Parliament and Council to come into force. The Industry, Research and Energy committee will aim to vote on the text on the 1st of September.
On 15 September 2021 during the State of the Union speech, the European Commission's president Ursula Von der Leyen announced a robust governance framework to reach the digital targets in the form of a Path to the Digital Decade to achieve the digital transformation digital compass targets by 2030. A draft Decision proposed by the Commission establishes the Policy Programme ‘Path to the Digital Decade’ and sets out a monitoring and cooperation mechanism consisting of measures to:
- set a clear direction for the digital transformation of the Union and for delivery of the digital targets;
- structure and stimulate cooperation between the Union institutions and Member States;
- ensure the consistency, comparability and completeness of the monitoring and reporting by the Union.