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Conclusions on the development of digitalization in Europe for the coming years

DATE September 3, 2019

Conclusions on the development of digitalization in Europe for the coming years

In recent months, the Council of the European Union has been working on a series of conclusions on the future of a Europe with greater rates of digitalization, and on planning an action strategy beyond 2020. The result of this process It has been a document that includes the 20 main points of action in terms of competitiveness and digital-economic cohesion. The statement of these conclusions refers to some key aspects that must be developed such as:

  • Ethics in the development of Artificial Intelligence.
  • The development of cybersecure environments adapted to today.
  • Increasing women's participation in digitalization and reducing the growing digital gender gap.

The detailed analysis of the 20 points in which the conclusions are summarized warns about the vision that the EU has of digitalization as a fundamental tool in the development of capabilities that allow competition in the economic, administrative and security sectors. All of this focused on a future in which the correct development of these technologies determines the possibility of being competitive with the great global powers of the sector. The inclusive role in terms of income, age and gender becomes fundamental here to avoid creating new and more intense differences in this aspect, ensuring cohesive development in social matters.

Digitalization as a tool is used as a key element also from the point of view of the creation of a true digital single market that avoids the barriers imposed by the differences between national legislations. Here, the Council invites joint and coordinated action by the institutions in the development of a coherent and forward-looking digital policy, avoiding the imposition of unnecessary burdens and costs in the development of new technologies and business models. For the Council, connectivity is an engine of cohesion, especially important in rural areas, industries and public administrations.

It is the European Commission and the Member States that, as established by the Council of the EU, must structure an integrated approach based on the development of current and future opportunities and challenges. The joint action of these decision-making bodies would make it possible to generate, with greater guarantees, the expansion of the digital economy and the use of applications and infrastructure linked to it, while empowering the citizens of the Union, guaranteeing respect for their privacy, confidentiality and innovation. The objective is to curb the multitude of existing barriers in the development of innovation and digital growth, which would generate an adequate climate for the proliferation of new digital companies that can compete, in terms of innovation, as maximum exponents in the future.

Among the main priorities are:

  • Cybersecurity as a tool for the protection of digital infrastructures, products, services and users. It thus proposes that cybersecurity becomes a competitive advantage for European companies, within a framework of synergistic relationships between the public and private sectors of the EU in terms of research and development of new cybersecurity solutions.
  • Artificial Intelligence and other associated technologies. The Council places special emphasis on the role that the application of these solutions plays in contributing to a more efficient and competitive economy, since it allows the optimization of the processes developed by companies. The Council notes here not only the advantages that the use of this technology brings to the economy, but also emphasizes the need to focus all efforts on its development in the fields of health, food security and climate change, focusing on citizens. the benefits of these innovations.
  • The deployment of ultra-fast digital infrastructure based on 5G, which will constitute the basis to guarantee the execution of all the projects proposed in higher lines. The development of technologies based on 5G would allow Administrations to guarantee public services to citizens and companies in a much more operational way.

The development of digitalization is one of the main challenges that public management faces today. Cities are the main exponents of putting the benefits generated by the application of new technologies at the service of citizens, especially those that impact their daily lives. The RECI, through its Working groups, works intensively with its member cities to create common action frameworks for the implementation of this type of solutions. The conclusions of the Council of the EU represent another step in demonstrating the weight that the digitalization of basic services linked to security, health management, artificial intelligence and 5G will have on citizens in the coming decades.

Image source: Flickr: European Parliament

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