The European Parliament is aiming to develop the technological potential of the digital single market even further. Its Digital Europe program could create 4 million jobs each year and generate €415 billion for the European economy. The program is also intended to help strengthen the European Union’s position to compete globally.
“For too many years, Europe’s tech sector has lagged behind third countries such as the US and China. We need a coherent Union-wide approach and an ambitious investment to secure a solution to the chronic mismatch between the growing demand for the latest technology and the available supply in Europe,” explained Angelika Mlinar, MEP and project rapporteur.
9.2 billion € for the « Digital Europe » program
The EU hopes for all Europeans to have the skills and infrastructure needed to meet the digital challenges they are facing in their personal and professional life. It is investing more than €9 billion in the Digital Europe program, distributed across 5 priority areas:
Supercomputers: €2.7 billion
This package will be used to finance projects aimed at developing and strengthening high-performance computing and data processing in Europe. This investment is essential for development in many varied areas such as healthcare, renewable energies, and cybersecurity. “This funding will ensure more effective and wider use of high-performance computing in the public and private sector alike, including by SMEs,” the European Commission explained.
Artificial intelligence: €2.5 billion
This package seeks to encourage the distribution of artificial intelligence across the whole of the European economy and society. “The Digital Europe program will offer better access to AI testing and experimentation facilities to public authorities and businesses in Member States, while increased investment in research and innovation under the Horizon Europe program will help the EU to remain at the cutting edge of scientific and technological progress in the field of AI.”
Cybersecurity: €2 billion
Protecting the digital economy is a crucial part of the European program. This €2 billion package is designed to:
- boost the cyber-defense industry and cybersecurity of the EU;
- finance state-of-the-art cybersecurity equipment and infrastructure;
- help develop the skills and knowledge required.
Use of digital technologies: €1.3 billion
This package will allow the EU to digitally transform public administration and services, and ensure their interoperability at an EU level. The funding will also help companies – especially SMEs – access the technologies and expertise they need.
“We can count on European excellence when it comes to research and innovation, but our businesses, especially SMEs, still find it difficult to access and take advantage of new solutions. This program has been crucially designed to tackle the low take-up of existing testing technologies. We are on track to deliver one of the most promising and necessary funds for Europe’s future,” said Angelika Mlinar.
Digital skills: €700 million
This budget will give current and future workers the means to develop advanced digital skills, through short training courses and internships, whatever Member State they live in.
Seizing the opportunities of digital transformation
“The digital single market provides the legal framework for individuals and businesses to fully seize the opportunities of digital transformation. Our goal has been to ensure that the EU budget is adapted to meet the challenges of the future. Digital transformation has been taken into account in all of the proposals, from transport, energy, and agriculture to healthcare and culture,” said Andrus Ansip, Commissioner for the Digital Single Market.