Digital Decade: Sustainability and Digitalisation Two Sides of the Same Coin

In her keynote speech on the State of the European Union (State of the European Union), EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen set out what the eco Association sees as important goals for the Digital Decade, and addressed some of the most urgent challenges in the context of digitalisation.

Von der Leyen highlighted the unprecedented performance of physicians, caregivers and relatives in times of pandemic – but she also mentioned the importance of digitalisation in overcoming the crisis.

The clear realisation that digital technologies have kept the economy and society afloat, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, and that digital technologies – not only AI, but also data-driven business models – present great opportunities for the European economy, must now form the basis for a consistent and goal-oriented European digital policy. The Association of the Internet Industry also emphasises that digital technologies are an important part of the solution to achieving the climate goals defined by von der Leyen. Corresponding solution strategies must now be developed jointly and in close cooperation with the industry.

“We will only achieve digital sovereignty, sustainable digitalisation, and a leading role in the global digital market if European policy-makers do not see sustainability and digitalisation as opposing forces, but rather as two sides of the same coin, and if they accordingly promote and exploit the potential of the digital economy,” says eco Chair of the Board Oliver Süme.

The EU wants to focus on three digital areas: Common data spaces for energy and healthcare, the application and promotion of Artificial Intelligence, and the creation of a European cloud based on GAIA-X. 20 percent of the NextGenerationEU reconstruction fund shall flow into digitalisation.


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