The European Commission published last May the multi-year budget of the European Union, called Multi-Annual Financial Framework which, among other items, supports the digital transformation in the European Union during the period 2017-2021.
Within this budget there is a program called “Digital Europe”, which is part of the Digital Single Market strategy, and is endowed with 9.2 billion euros. The purpose of the program is to promote the digital transformation of the EU by increasing investments, maximizing momentum in areas of public interest and reinforcing several cooperation projects with Member States.
Action lines of the EU Digital program
The program is based on five lines of action that will drive digital transformation:
- Supercomputers: A total of 2,7 billion euros will be allocated to boost the processing capabilities of high-level computing in the EU. In addition, the use of supercomputers in areas of public interest such as health, environment, and safety will be encouraged. Finally, these capabilities will be made available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the EU.
- Artificial Intelligence: The objectives in this area consist in promoting and reinforcing the use of artificial intelligence in both business and Public Administrations; facilitate secure access and storage of large data sets and algorithms; and strengthening and supporting testing and experimentation facilities in the Member States. In total, they will allocate 2,500 million euros to this item.
- Cybersecurity and trust: Although digital technologies have opened a world of possibilities to EU citizens, they also carry a risk. Among others, cyber attacks, fraud and data theft stand out. So far, the EU has responded by adopting the first legislation at European level on cybersecurity, the NIS regulation.
- Advanced digital skills: The EU wants to invest in training digital skills for the EU citizens. The “Digital Europe” program will offer students and IT experts numerous training opportunities in advanced digital technologies. In total, 700 million euros will be allocated to the training of qualified personnel.
- Broad use of digital technologies in the economy and society: The EU seeks to boost the digitization of Public Administrations and their services, as well as to ensure the interoperability at European level and facilitate access to technology and know-how to all the companies. This section will have a total of 1,3 billion euros.
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