Digital Europe Programme: a digital investment plan for Europe

On 2 May, EACA joined the second day of the event “Leading the Digital Decade” organised by the European Commission. It was dedicated to the Digital Europe Programme, which has been proposed by the European Commission as part of the next long-term EU budget (MFF 2021-2027).

On 29 April 2021, Parliament adopted its new regulation (Regulation (EU) 2021/694) establishing the Digital Europe Programme. The regulation entered into force on 11 May and applies retroactively from 1 January 2021.

Its main objective is to promote Europe’s digital transformation. The regulation has allocated €9.2 billion to five areas over the period 2021-2027:

  • High-performance computing (HPC): €2.7 billion for projects to build and strengthen HPC and data processing in Europe.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): EUR 2.5 billion to help deploy AI. It will give public authorities and businesses better access to AI testing and experimentation facilities in the Member States, complemented by investment in AI research and innovation under Horizon Europe.
  • Cybersecurity and trust: EUR 2 billion to strengthen the EU cyber defence and cybersecurity industry, fund state-of-the-art cybersecurity equipment and infrastructure and support skills and knowledge development. The regulation builds on the cybersecurity measures presented in September 2017.
  • Digital skills: €700 million to support advanced digital skills through training courses and work placements.
  • Digital transformation of public administration and interoperability: €1.3 billion will support the digital transformation of public services and interoperability at the EU level. Digital Innovation Centres (DIH) provides access to technological expertise for digital transformation projects.

The regulation should complement and create synergies with the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and Horizon Europe.