On 19 February 2020, the European Commission published its digital strategy for Europe, titled ‘Shaping Europe’s digital future’. As noted in the strategy:
Digital technologies are profoundly changing our daily life, our way of working and doing business, and the way people travel, communicate and relate with each other. Digital communication, social media interaction, e-commerce, and digital enterprises are steadily transforming our world. They are generating an ever-increasing amount of data, which, if pooled and used, can lead to a completely new means and levels of value creation. It is a transformation as fundamental as that caused by the industrial revolution.
Digital solutions such as communications systems, artificial intelligence or quantum technologies can enrich our lives in many ways. But the benefits arising from digital technologies do not come without risks and costs. Citizens no longer feel in control over what happens with their personal data and are increasingly overloaded by artificial solicitations of their attention. And malicious cyber activity may threaten our personal well-being or disrupt our critical infrastructures and wider security interests.
The strategy sets out three key objectives that Europe will focus on for the next five years “to ensure that digital solutions help Europe to pursue its own way towards a digital transformation that works for the benefit of people through respecting our values”. These objectives are as follows:
- Technology that works for people: Development, deployment and uptake of technology that makes a real difference to people’s daily lives. A strong and competitive economy that masters and shapes technology in a way that respects European values.
- A fair and competitive economy: A frictionless single market, where companies of all sizes and in any sector can compete on equal terms, and can develop, market and use digital technologies, products and services at a scale that boosts their productivity and global competitiveness, and consumers can be confident that their rights are respected.
- An open, democratic and sustainable society: A trustworthy environment in which citizens are empowered in how they act and interact, and of the data they provide both online and offline. A European way to digital transformation which enhances our democratic values respects our fundamental rights and contributes to a sustainable, climate-neutral and resource-efficient economy.
The European Commission’s digital strategy is accessible here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].