On 9 March 2021, the European Commission presented the Digital Compass for the transformation in Europe. This vision for the EU’s Digital Decade revolves around four cardinal points: Skills, Infrastructures, Government and Business. Secure and sustainable digital infrastructures ensure continuous connectivity in the EU: by 2030, all EU households should have access to gigabit connectivity and all populated areas should be covered by 5G.

The European Commission presented a vision, targets and avenues for a digital transformation in Europe by 2030: The Digital Compass for the Europe’s Digital Decade. The EU’s ambition is to pursue digital policies that empower people and businesses to seize a sustainable digital future.

Europe’s Digital Compass revolves around the following goals:

  1. Digitally skilled citizens and highly skilled digital professionals: By 2030, at least 80% of all adults should have basic digital skills, and there should be 20 million employed ICT specialists in the EU – while more women should take up such jobs.
  2. Secure, performant and sustainable digital infrastructures: By 2030, all EU households should have gigabit connectivity and all populated areas should be covered by 5G; the production of cutting-edge and sustainable semiconductors in Europe should be 20% of the world’s share, for this the production should be doubled; 10,000 climate neutral highly secure edge nodes should be deployed in the EU; and Europe should have its first quantum computer.
  3. Digital transformation of businesses: By 2030, three out of four companies should use cloud computing services, big data and Artificial Intelligence; more than 90% of all SMEs should reach at least basic level of digital intensity; and the number of EU unicorns (start-ups with a value of more than EUR 1 billion) should double.
  4. Digitalisation of public services: By 2030, all key public services should be available online; all citizens will have access to their e-medical records; and 80% citizens should use an eID solution.

The targets will be embedded in a Policy Programme to be agreed with the European Parliament and the Council. The Commission will soon launch a wide-ranging discussion and consultation process, including citizens, on the EU vision and the digital principles.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The pandemic has exposed how crucial digital technologies and skills are to work, study and engage – and where we need to get better.”

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