Publish in core platform
Target audienceDigital skills for the labour force.
Digital technology / specialisationDigital skills
Digital skill levelBasic
Geographic Scope - CountryEuropean Union
Industry - Field of Education and TrainingInformation and Communication Technologies (ICTs) not further defined
Type of initiative
EU institutional initiative
National or European
In a landmark step towards realizing the Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030, the European Union has released its inaugural report on the State of the Digital Decade. This comprehensive assessment takes stock of the EU’s progress towards a successful digital transformation, setting a strategic roadmap for the next decade.
Empowering a digitally sovereign EU
The report emphasizes the urgent need to accelerate and deepen collective efforts in policy, investment, and technology adoption. It identifies four key pillars crucial for a digitally sovereign, resilient, and competitive EU: digital skills, digital infrastructure, digitalization of businesses (including Artificial Intelligence), and digitalization of public services. Additionally, it underscores the monitoring of the European Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles, embodying the EU’s commitment to secure, safe, and sustainable digital transformation that prioritizes people.
Call to action for Member States
The 2023 report serves as a rallying cry to Member States, urging collective action to bridge existing investment gaps, expedite digital transformation, and meet the objectives outlined in the Digital Decade Policy Programme. The programme, enacted in January 2023, establishes a collaborative governance framework between the EU and national authorities.
Concrete recommendations for progress
The report lays out horizontal and country-specific recommendations, providing a clear operational framework. These recommendations will serve as a basis for dialogue and collaboration between the Commission and Member States in pursuit of shared goals. To support this endeavour, large-scale multi-country projects, including the newly introduced European Digital Infrastructure Consortia (EDICs), will be implemented.
Key findings: a deep dive
Digital infrastructure – secure connectivity
The report sets a 2030 target of universal gigabit coverage and performant 5G networks in populated areas. Currently, there’s a significant gap in fiber network availability and 5G coverage, particularly in rural areas. Additional investment of at least €200 billion is imperative to ensure full gigabit and 5G coverage.
With an ambitious target to double the EU’s share in global semiconductor production, the European Chips Act aims to fortify the semiconductor ecosystem and supply chains. Member States are urged to bolster domestic chip design, manufacturing, and skills development.
Digitalization of businesses
The DDPP outlines targets for widespread adoption of cloud computing, big data, and AI. To meet these goals, Member States must prioritize investment and incentives to enhance digital intensity among enterprises, particularly SMEs. Additionally, they should advocate for and provide backing to the European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs).
Digitalization of public services
Efforts to achieve 100% online accessibility to key public services and health records, along with universal access to secure electronic identification, require significant investment. Cross-border availability and performance of public services need improvement, with the European Digital Identity Wallet set to complement these efforts by 2030.
While the EU aspires to increase basic digital skills and ICT specialists, current projections fall short. Member States must invest in quality education, skills development, and promote gender inclusivity in STEM fields.
Values and principles for the online society
The EU continues to lead in shaping a secure, human-centric digital transformation. Policy measures like the Digital Services Act and AI Act reflect the commitment to a secure and free online society with a new EU initiative on Web 4.0 and virtual worlds.
A sustainable digital transition
The report acknowledges ongoing efforts to make the digital transition environmentally sustainable. Initiatives like the Right to Repair and Eco-design criteria for mobile phones and tablets demonstrate a commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of digital technologies, along with the national Recovery and Resilience Plans.
The EU recognizes the importance of global cooperation and has made strides in establishing digital partnerships with key allies. Efforts to support the digital transformation of Ukraine exemplify the EU’s commitment to extending its values globally.
Charting the course forward
Member States are called upon to outline actions and policies in their national roadmaps. The Commission and Member States will engage in discussions to refine strategies and address areas where progress is lacking.