The European Commission adopted a roadmap for the European Union's digital economy until 2030 on February 10, 2021.
The roadmap aims to provide the following:
- A vision of what a successful digital transformation means for Europeans by 2030 and a pathway to achieve it.
- Common digital targets that would capture the European Union’s common ambition. In particular, they could encompass the four identified dimensions: (1) digital infrastructures and capacity (e.g., connectivity, data including computing power); (2) digital education and skills (e.g., skills and competences, for example, for engineers); (3) digital transformation of business (e.g., use of technologies by businesses and share of the European Union’s companies among the first 100 biggest disruptive innovators); and (4) digital government (e.g., access to digital public services, e-health).
- A first proposal of a Charter of Digital Principles at the service of people; these principles would set the European standard for ethical and fundamental values and human rights in the digital space.
This digital transformation targets European citizens, businesses, and the environment. The roadmap plans to support European citizens by promoting their health, safety, and overall well-being in the digital world. Security in remote healthcare and identity protection are important aspects in the European Union’s path to 2030, as well as goals toward a cleaner environment, including use of recycled electronic waste and individualized energy production.
The European Union seeks to benefit EU businesses by providing more opportunities to incorporate data-driven production, establish fair rules for online platforms, and support the development of startups using artificial intelligence.
With this roadmap, the European Union also sets out to reduce its carbon footprint in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector by utilizing artificial intelligence and other digital technologies to reduce traffic congestion, improve energy efficiencies, and take steps to preserve natural resources and minimize gas emissions by extending the lives of smart devices.
Moreover, the roadmap initiates a process aiming at setting out a “2030 Digital Compass.” The Digital Compass will pursue a governance structure that will allow the European Union to monitor its progress toward its 2030 digital goals and identify areas needing improvement. Additionally, the Digital Compass would employ a framework across member states allowing uniform implementation and cooperation among states.
The Commission has started a wide-ranging consultation to receive feedback from key stakeholders and help prepare the initiatives that will be necessary to develop the roadmap and initiate the 2030 vision. The feedback period runs between February 10, 2021 and March 9, 2021.