This article is part of KrASIA’s partnership with Web Summit.
2020 has been one of the most challenging years many of us have experienced. Now that we’ve moved past the initial standstill and are heading towards a vaccine, world leaders are planning our recovery – economically, socially and psychologically – from the effects of the pandemic.
The EU Commission is taking it one step further, using these circumstances as an opportunity to reprioritise and aim higher. They’ve set out a plan for ‘Europe’s Digital Decade’, ensuring no member state is left behind in the global digitisation that will accelerate over the next 10 years.
The plan revolves around three aims:
- Make the EU a leader in a data-driven world: In her guest post on the Web Summit blog, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen explores the EU’s potential in leading the global digital transition. The plan – laid out in the infographic above – details the steps to realising this potential, including creating a single market for data, and empowering users by increasing awareness of data protection and privacy measures. The EU Commission’s Shaping Europe’s Digital Future also touches on these points, as well as the creation of a centralised European health data space to foster targeted research, diagnosis and treatment. Becoming global digitisation leaders isn’t the only benefit of these plans – GDP is also set to increase. By 2025, the data economy is predicted to grow by almost 64 percent from its 2018 value of €301 billion.
- Promote excellence in AI and trust in technology: Technology is ubiquitous, but distrust in digitisation is still a major blocker to its progress. The EU plans to address this by implementing technology that works for people, including increasing protection against cybersecurity threats, and building AI in a respectful and trustworthy way. It will invest in centres of excellence and digital innovation hubs to maintain high standards of quality and service for European citizens. The plan further supports the fight against disinformation – an essential step in building, or rebuilding, the EU’s trust in technology.
- Boost connectivity for people and businesses: The digital divide is a global issue, with lack of reliable internet access affecting opportunities in entrepreneurship, education, healthcare and so much more. The EU is accelerating the rollout of 5G, 6G and fibre broadband across its member states to create a level playing field. Technology will also play a pivotal role in reaching climate targets, moving the EU closer to its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
All of these steps culminate in cementing the EU as a global leader. At Web Summit 2020, we’ll be joined by several key members of the European Commission, including Ursula von der Leyen, Margrethe Vestager, Frans Timmermans and Vĕra Jourová. They’ll offer their expertise on the range of challenges and opportunities facing the European Union as we approach the end of 2020. Visit the schedule to bookmark their talks.
Main image: European Commission