Europe aims to empower businesses and people in a human-centred, sustainable and more prosperous digital future.
The Digital Decade policy programme, with concrete targets and objectives for 2030, will guide Europe’s digital transformation:
ICT Specialists: 20 million + gender convergence
Basic Digital Skills: min 80% of population
Tech up-take: 75% of EU companies using Cloud/AI/Big Data
Innovators: grow scale-ups & finance to double EU Unicorns
Late adopters: more than 90% of SMEs reach at least a basic level of digital intensity
Connectivity: Gigabit for everyone
Cutting edge Semiconductors: double EU share in global production
Data - Edge & Cloud: 10,000 climate-neutral highly secure edge nodes
Computing: first computer with quantum acceleration
Key Public Services: 100% online
e-Health: 100% of citizens have access to medical records online
Digital Identity: 80% of citizens have access to digital ID
The Commission will pursue the EUʼs digital ambitions for 2030 through concrete terms
- projected trajectories at EU and national level, with key performance indicators to track progress towards the digital targets
- an annual cooperation cycle to monitor and report on progress
- multi-country projects combining investments from the EU, Member States and the private sector
Digital rights and principles
On 26 January 2022, the Commission proposed an inter-institutional solemn declaration on digital rights and principles for the digital decade.
Digital technologies should protect people’s rights, support democracy, and ensure that all digital players act responsibly and safely. The EU promotes these values across the world.
People should benefit from a fair online environment, be safe from illegal and harmful content, and be empowered when they interact with new and evolving technologies like artificial intelligence.
The digital environment should be safe and secure. All users, from childhood to old age, should be empowered and protected.
Technology should unite, not divide, people. Everyone should have access to the internet, to digital skills, to digital public services and to fair working conditions.
Citizens should be able to engage in the democratic process at all levels and have control over their own data.
Digital devices should support sustainability and the green transition. People need to know about the environmental impact and energy consumption of their devices.
The digital rights and principles outlined in the declaration will complement existing rights, such as those rooted in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, and data protection and privacy legislation. They will provide a reference framework for citizens on their digital rights, as well as guidance for EU Member States and for companies when dealing with new technologies. They are intended to help everyone in the EU get the most out of the digital transformation.
The proposed rights and principles are
- Putting people and their rights at the centre of the digital transformation
- Supporting solidarity and inclusion
- Ensuring freedom of choice online
- Fostering participation in the digital public space
- Increasing safety, security and empowerment of individuals
- Promoting the sustainability of the digital future
The Commission will provide an assessment of the implementation of the digital principles in the annual State of the Digital Decade report. The Commission will also conduct an annual Eurobarometer survey to monitor the follow-up measures in the Member States. The Eurobarometer will collect qualitative data, based on citizens’ perception of how the digital principles are put into practice in various Member States.
The Digital Decade policy programme 2030 sets up an annual cooperation cycle to achieve the common objectives and targets. This governance framework is based on an annual cooperation mechanism involving the Commission and Member States. The Commission will first develop projected EU trajectories for each target together with the Member States, which would in turn propose national strategic roadmaps to attain them.
The cooperation mechanism would consist of
• a structured, transparent and shared monitoring system based on the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) to measure progress towards each of the 2030 targets
• an annual ‘Report on the state of the Digital Decade’ in which the Commission evaluates progress and provides recommendations for actions
• every two years, adjusted Digital decade strategic roadmaps in which the Member States outline adopted or planned actions to reach the 2030 targets
• a mechanism to support the implementation of multi-country projects
To reach the digital targets and objectives, the European Commission will accelerate and facilitate the launch of multi-country projects, large-scale projects that no single Member State could develop on its own.
These projects could
- combine investments from the EU budget, including from the Recovery and Resilience Facility, from Member States, and the private sector
- address gaps in the identified critical capacities of the EU
- support an interconnected, interoperable and secure Digital Single Market
The Commission has identified an initial list of multi-country projects. This list includes areas for investment such as data infrastructure, low-power processors, 5G communication, high-performance computing, secure quantum communication, public administration, blockchain, digital innovation hubs and digital skills.
Example of a potential multi-country project
The EU could deploy a network of Security Operations Centres, powered by AI, to anticipate, detect and respond to cyberattacks at national and EU level.
The European Digital Infrastructure Consortium is a new instrument to help interested Member States speed up and simplify the implementation of multi-country projects.
International partnerships for the Digital Decade
The EU will promote its human-centred digital agenda on the global stage and promote alignment or convergence with EU norms and standards. It will also ensure the security and resilience of its digital supply chains and deliver global solutions. These will be achieved by
- setting a toolbox combining regulatory cooperation, addressing capacity building and skills, investment in international cooperation and research partnerships
- designing digital economy packages financed through initiatives that bring together the EU, Member States, private companies, like-minded partners and international financial institutions
- combining EU internal investments and external cooperation instruments
- investing in improved connectivity with the EU’s partners, for example through a possible Digital Connectivity Fund
As a first step following the entry into force of the policy programme, the Commission, together with the Member States, will develop key performance indicators to measure progress towards the 2030 digital targets. The KPIs will be enshrined in an implementing act to be adopted in early 2023.
The first annual report on the “State of the Digital Decade” is planned to be adopted in June 2023. It will contain the trajectories along which progress will be tracked. Then, within nine months, the Member States shall present their first national strategic roadmaps, which will launch the cooperation cycle.
- 1 February 2023