Expertise

Digital & Data Governance

The recommendations emanating from Friends of Europe’s 2021 Connected Europe report will continue to guide our Digital & Data Governance programme in 2023. We will aim for a fairer, more inclusive and more secure European approach to the green digital transition. For the sake of Europe’s next generation, the digital transition and the mitigation of the climate emergency must be understood as inextricably linked and jointly form the core of the EU’s recovery and quest for leadership.

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The recommendations emanating from Friends of Europe’s 2021 Connected Europe report will continue to guide our Digital & Data Governance programme in 2023. We will aim for a fairer, more inclusive and more secure European approach to the green digital transition. For the sake of Europe’s next generation, the digital transition and the mitigation of the climate emergency must be understood as inextricably linked and jointly form the core of the EU’s recovery and quest for leadership.

The essential empowerment of citizens within this process implies concrete actions that focus on their hopes, concerns and needs. In a world riveted by crises and extremities, the private sector must take on a new role as a co-producer of a good and better society. Businesses are key in creating safety nets and increasing the resilience of systems and communities. Central to leaving no one behind is ensuring the resilience of ‘anywhere, anytime’ education through improved infrastructure and a coherent European strategy for education over the next decade. Similarly, mainstreaming a human-centred approach to data and digitalisation implies addressing head-on challenges, such as algorithm bias and the many ethical questions deriving from the metaverse and augmented reality. The green digital transition will only succeed if people, communities and businesses are able trust the digital products they consume and the digital tools they use. In this regard, the EU’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act, the first of its kind by any regulator in the world, will represent a new chance for global standard-setting as a result of effective public-private cooperation. Cyber-security across the digital sphere and in critical infrastructure must be prioritised amid their increasing weaponisation.

Our Making Space Matter initiative will continue to advocate for Europe to play a stronger role in space, defined by sustainability. Ensuring that European space activities actively contribute to the green transition must be priority for the EU and its member states. The fostering of a competitive European space industry is equally crucial. A different, more cooperative relationship between the public and private sectors is required if the EU’s ambition of space leadership is to be reachable. Tools such as the CASSINI Space Entrepreneurship initiative are steps in the right direction, but further EU financing mechanisms are direly needed. Sustainability and innovation must be accompanied by societal empowerment – particularly of those who suffer from the inequality of opportunities that can halt inclusive growth for the space sector.

In 2023, our overall approach to digitalisation and data governance will continue to be centred on the needs and interests of the citizen.

Briefing Paper: Digital and space, and the Renewed Social Contract 2022

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