The European Commission has approved a €7.5 billion budget for the Digital Europe Programme. A press release by the commission notes that the initiative seeks to drive digital transformation across Europe.
The budget will cover the activities outlined in the digital programme that will run from 2021 to 2027. The programme focuses on five crucial areas, including supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills, and the wide use of digital technologies across society.
The programme is part of the commission’s bid to fill the gap between digital technologies research and its implementation. The research finding aims at mostly benefitting small and medium-sized enterprises as well as European citizens in general.
Furthermore, the Digital Europe Programme stakeholders are backing the EU’s objectives of a green transition and digital transformation and strengthen the region’s resilience and open strategic autonomy.
Pandemic accelerates need for digital investment
Some of the commission leaders opine that the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the need for a digital revolution. European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton notes:
“The pandemic has underlined the need to invest in our digital capacities, from supercomputers to cybersecurity. The Digital Europe Programme will help European businesses, especially smaller ones, to deploy advanced technologies, to grow and benefit from the vast opportunities of digital transformation. It will help our citizens to upgrade their digital skills. This is essential to deliver on the twin digital and green transitions, to promote our technological sovereignty and strengthen our strategic digital capacities.”
The programme will go through the European Parliament and the Council for approval. In this case, once the parliament agrees to the first reading position of the Council, the act will be adopted.
The programme will likely take effect during Q1 of 2021.