New budget programme to help businesses and society go digital
€9.2bn will go for supercomputers, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and advanced skills
Maria Koleva, Brussels
7 June, 2018
Digital Europe is the name of the newest programme that is proposed to receive €9.2bn funding from the next common seven-year EU budget. The good news was spread on Wednesday in Brussels at the EC press room by Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society. Talking to the media, she underscored that having the first pan-European digital programme is a major step for strengthening Europe's world leadership in the digital transformation. The programme will prop up high-performance computing, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity and advanced digital skills and aims to make them accessible across the economy and society. Commenting on the topic, Andrus Ansip, EC Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, stated that the Digital Single Market provides the legal framework to ensure people and companies fully benefit from the digital transformation. He explained that the aim of the Commission has been to make the EU budget fit for future challenges and digital transformation is taken into account across all proposals, from transport, energy and agriculture to healthcare and culture. Within the proposal, a total of €2.7bn will go between 2021 and 2027 to projects dedicated to building-up and reinforcing supercomputing and data processing in Europe, which is important for wide range of areas, such as health care, renewable energy, car safety and cybersecurity, among others. A little bit less, €2.5bn, are foreseen for spreading AI across the European economy and society. The idea here is to boost investments and make the most out of AI, keeping an eye on the changes that AI creates in a socio-economic aspect and ensuring that ethical and legal issues will be taken into account. A little bit less - €2.5bn, is foreseen for spreading AI across the European economy and society. For increasing cyber-defence and the EU's cybersecurity industry, financing state-of-the-art cybersecurity equipment and infrastructure and supporting the development of the necessary skills and knowledge, will be allocated €2bn. As to make different trainings on digital skills widely available, including on-the-job traineeships, regardless of their Member State of residence, €700m will be provided from the next budget. Digital transformation of public administration and public services and their EU-wide interoperability and easier access for SMEs will be ensured by another €1.3bn. Digital Europe was not the only good news concerning the Digital Single Market delivered by Commissioner Gabriel last week. After months of exhaustive talks, the Council and Parliament stroke a deal on the proposed by the Commission new Electronic Communications Code that will make the deployment of 5G networks easier. Agreement was reached also on the revised audiovisual media rules. Not least, digital transformation finds place in the next budget proposals on Connecting Europe Facility and the research and innovation programme.
Photo: © European Union
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