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EU digital policy: Council identifies main priorities for the next legislative cycle

The Council has approved conclusions on the future of EU digital policy.

Digital transformation has proven to be a game-changer in the life of EU citizens and businesses. In identifying the main priorities for the EU digital policy that will be developed in the upcoming legislative cycle, the Council conclusions aim to address both the challenges and opportunities of the digital sphere.

New technologies have driven innovation, economic growth, and sustainability. However, a successful digital transformation must be grounded on a safe, inclusive, sustainable, and human-centric approach—one that upholds democracy and human rights. Digital rights are fundamental for everyone. We must ensure no one is left behind, providing every European the opportunity to develop essential digital skills and actively participate in our online world.

Petra de Sutter, Belgian deputy prime and minister of public administration, public enterprises, telecommunication, and postal services

To improve EU’s competitiveness on the global stage, we should foster a common European approach to innovative digital technologies striking the right balance between innovation, regulatory burden, and protection of the Union’s economic security. To achieve these goals, ambitious targets for the future must be set as far as digital skills, digital government, secure and digital infrastructure across Europe are concerned.

Mathieu Michel, Belgian Secretary of State for digitisation, administrative simplification, privacy protection and building regulation

Main priorities for the upcoming legislative cycle
In its conclusions, the Council underlines that an effective, coherent, and efficient implementation of recently adopted laws with the minimum administrative burden for public and private players is the main priority for the next mandate.

A common European approach to innovative digital technologies is of key importance for the EU’s competitiveness and to ensure the protection of EU’s economic security, while preserving economic openness and dynamism.

Member states acknowledge the importance to ensure a safer, responsible, and trustworthy online environment in line with the Louvain-la-Neuve Declaration adopted during the informal meeting of telecommunications ministers on 12 April 2024.

Member states also underline that this digital transformation should also go hand-in-hand with the green transition, accompanied by ambitious sustainability objectives.

The reinforcement of the EU’s competitiveness in the digital transformation requires attracting and retaining a digitally skilled workforce, in particular women, and bridging the digital divide.

The importance of ensuring secure and resilient digital infrastructure across the EU is underlined in the conclusions.

The Council conclusions also emphasise the importance of the international dimension of EU digital policy, welcoming the strengthening of digital partnerships and digital trade agreements and insisting on the need to develop a more proactive and coordinated EU approach to play a key role globally in the digital transformation and digital governance.

Source European Council - May 21, 24

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