The European Commission has published its general report on its activities in 2021. In spite of the very serious difficulties due to the pandemic, the European Union has started to look to the future, initiating its recovery.

In the foreword to the Report, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen writes: "I hope that 2021 will be remembered as the year in which Europe started to look beyond the pandemic, towards a better future. The year the Union got vaccines for all its citizens. The year in which the economic recovery began. The year in which, thanks to NextGenerationEU, our recovery plan, Europe started to become a greener and more digital continent. In 2021 we made significant progress, and this was only possible because Europe chose to act together."

Narrowing the focus on digital transformation, the Commission focused on the opportunities generated by cloud technologies, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing.

The first billions of euros foreseen in the NextGenerationEU plan have already been disbursed to Member States, which have presented ambitious programmes to reform and digitise our economies, seeking to ensure that citizens have the skills they need for the jobs of the future.​

The EU wants to make the next ten years Europe's Digital Decade, becoming a world model for the digital economy, with €7.5 billion to bring digital technology to businesses, to citizens, and to the public administration

There are stringent climate and digital targets to meet, including at least 37% of public spending on climate-friendly investments and reforms, and at least 20% on the digital transition. This will help the EU to achieve its climate neutrality target by 2050 and set it on the path towards a profound digital transition.

A comprehensive plan of actions and investments to enter a digital decade, with the aim of becoming a global reference model for the digital economy, of setting and promoting normative standards and of pursuing policies that empower citizens and businesses.

Concrete actions include supporting small businesses in adopting the technologies, supporting citizens in learning basic and advanced digital skills, and facilitating widespread access to the internet and to online public services. At the same time, the EU will also continue to pursue excellence in advanced technologies such as quantum computing, cloud technologies and artificial intelligence.

Digital ambitions that must be translated into a few key points by 2030:

  • a digitally savvy population and highly skilled professionals,
  • secure and reliable digital infrastructures and a high percentage of digitised businesses,
  • modernised public services responsive to society's needs.

Activities in 2021 also include the new Digital Europe programme, with a budget of €7.5 billion over the next seven years, set to bring digital technology to businesses, to citizens, and to public administrations.

The European Commission is developing a proposal on digital principles to ensure that the digital space uses the values and rights of the European Union as its reference. All citizens will benefit from opportunities such as universal internet access, people-friendly algorithms, and a secure and trustworthy online environment.​

 

 

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