German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin despatched a joint letter to European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday.
The 4 international locations wrote that “digital sovereignty” means rising Europe’s technological capability and its skill to ascertain values and guidelines in a technology-centric world that’s more and more dominated by different international locations: “We name on the European Union to get forward of the digital transformation curve.”
Prime Ministers name on the EU to speed up the digital switchover and deal with digital insurance policies involving governments, society and the financial system and to assist the transition to a inexperienced financial system.
“The time has come for Europe to be digitally sovereign. We should promote the digital single market in all its dimensions, the place innovation can flourish and knowledge can move freely. We should successfully defend competitors and market entry in a data-driven world. Essential Infrastructures and applied sciences should grow to be resilient and safe. It is time to digitize governments to construct belief and foster digital innovation, “the letter mentioned. .
“We wish to develop our capacities and expertise in areas the place we wish to be extra empowered with democratic companions world wide and construct on a robust transatlantic relationship. On the similar time, we wish to strengthen and additional develop mutual cooperation and synergies. Digital sovereignty is about constructing on our strengths and lowering our strategic weaknesses, not excluding others or taking a protectionist strategy. We’re a part of a worldwide world with international provide chains that we wish to develop for the advantage of all of us. “
Merkel, Frederiksen, Kallas and Marin underline the dedication to open markets and free, truthful and rules-based commerce, and level out that digital sovereignty means precisely that.
The 4 international locations mentioned three steps needs to be taken to strengthen the digital sovereignty of the European Union.
First, establish crucial applied sciences and strategic sectors so as to make clear Europe’s potential strategic strengths and weaknesses.
Secondly, the European Union should strengthen its strategy to crucial applied sciences and strategic sectors: open markets and open provide chains should be assured so as to keep away from dependencies.
Third, there’s a want for an analysis system which should be everlasting, repetitive and primarily based on a broad social, scientific and financial foundation. The score system will facilitate innovation and growth to make sure European sovereignty, safety and competitiveness and pave the way in which for the event of digital applied sciences.
You possibly can learn the full letter in English on authorities web site or beneath:
Madam President, pricey Ursula,
Digital transformation is important for European restoration, for the prosperity, safety, competitiveness and well-being of our societies. Now we have joined forces in Europe in current months to facilitate speedy and vital further investments in digital tasks via the Restoration and Resilience Mechanism, to strengthen cooperation within the digital sphere and to start out discussions on a standard strategy in areas similar to knowledge, synthetic intelligence. and platform regulation.
On the similar time, the dependencies and gaps in European digital capacities, expertise and applied sciences have grow to be extra obvious. A big a part of digital added worth and innovation takes place exterior of Europe. Knowledge has grow to be a brand new foreign money which is principally collected and saved exterior of Europe. And basic democratic values are beneath nice strain within the international digital sphere.
The time has come for Europe to be numerically sovereign. We have to foster the Digital Single Market in all its dimensions, the place innovation can thrive and knowledge can move freely. We have to successfully defend competitors and market entry in a data-driven world. Essential infrastructure and applied sciences should grow to be resilient and safe. It is time to digitize governments to construct belief and drive digital innovation.
We wish to develop our capacities and expertise in areas the place we wish to be extra autonomous with democratic companions world wide and construct on a strong transatlantic relationship. On the similar time, we wish to strengthen and additional develop mutual cooperation and synergies. Digital sovereignty is about constructing on our strengths and lowering our strategic weaknesses, not excluding others or taking a protectionist strategy. We’re a part of a worldwide world with international provide chains that we wish to develop for the advantage of all of us. We’re dedicated to opening markets and unleashing truthful and rules-based commerce. That is what digital sovereignty means to us.
We name on the European Union to take a step forward within the digital transformation, as underlined by the European Council of October 2020. We imagine that Europe should recharge its batteries and complement its present digitization efforts with a coverage self-determined and open digital expertise that features digital sovereignty as a leitmotif. Such a digital coverage encompasses the pursuits of society, financial system and authorities equally and helps us within the inexperienced transition.
We subsequently ask the European Fee to take the required initiatives to strengthen the digital sovereignty of the European Union. We imagine that three phases should be taken:
As a primary step, the European Fee should establish crucial expertise programs and strategic sectors. We want readability on Europe’s strengths and high-risk strategic and dependent weaknesses that would result in provide shortages or cybersecurity dangers. It is going to be important to observe a radical evaluation bearing in mind international challenges, security and safety implications, shortage of assets in addition to market constructions.
This course of should be clear, so as to guarantee the boldness of residents and companies, in a long-term perspective, as digital transformation may make new areas crucial to our societies, economies, safety and residents, whereas lowering the significance of others. These also needs to be the guiding ideas of the European Fee’s proposal for a digital decade with targets for 2030 and a monitoring system, as referred to as for by the European Council in October 2020.
Secondly, the European Union should strengthen and refine its coverage strategy for crucial expertise programs and strategic sectors: so as to keep away from dependencies, open markets and open provide chains should be assured. If this isn’t attainable, mutual interdependencies shall be established (i.e. no unilateral dependence on monopolies or international locations). In the end, European expertise and capacities shall be actively promoted and developed.
In consequence, the coverage toolkit for digital transformation, each at EU and nationwide degree, will embody differentiated coverage actions for various areas: it is going to be important to reap the benefits of our single market in all dimensions ( well being, power, transport, and so on.). We have to reap the benefits of the entire toolbox and combine the devices of business, commerce and competitors coverage, analysis and innovation coverage, long-term financing devices and vital tasks of widespread European curiosity (IPCEI). We have to enhance the digital single market to facilitate scaling, promote innovation and entice funding. We have to construct expertise and competences throughout society, paying particular consideration to strategic areas. As well as, the digitization of presidency itself should be an vital driver of innovation, because it additionally performs an vital position in creating catalysts, frameworks and belief for testing, adoption and dissemination.
To this finish, the Fee ought to come ahead with proposals for brand new initiatives and to strengthen current initiatives. We want sturdy framework situations that foster an progressive, accountable and safe digital financial system, together with an EU-wide ecosystem for digital identities, a legislative framework for synthetic intelligence, excellence in l quantum computing, EU-based distributed knowledge cloud options and a European strategy to fostering communication community virtualization and new applied sciences (openRAN). And we name for a brand new international initiative on platform regulation, primarily based on the present discussions on the Digital Companies Regulation and the Digital Markets Regulation within the EU.
The European Fee ought to develop an motion plan for larger digital sovereignty on this foundation, ideally, as a part of its initiative introduced for March 2021 on Europe’s Digital Decade. With a purpose to be certain that crucial dependencies don’t take root, a set of instant measures needs to be outlined on this plan to allow the European Union to grow to be numerically sovereign in crucial areas.
Thirdly, the speedy momentum of the digital world signifies that the EU wants a surveillance system. Monitoring should be everlasting, recurrent and primarily based on a broad societal, scientific and financial foundation. It’s going to enable us to anticipate digital developments, establish our weaknesses and strengths and outline concrete measures and devices accordingly. Monitoring goals to facilitate innovation and growth to make sure that Europe stays sovereign, safe and aggressive and a frontrunner within the growth of digital expertise.
Digital transformation is among the biggest alternatives and challenges for the way forward for Europe, and it should profit residents, our societies and our financial system. As Europeans, we aspire to proceed to claim our values and our democratic guidelines within the digital age at house and overseas. On the similar time, we wish to take part in digital added worth, thus preserving the long run prosperity of the European Union and bringing our societies into the digital age. This may solely be achieved if we observe a coherent path to digital sovereignty – self-determined and open.
We ask you to place the load of the European Fee behind this widespread endeavor.
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Denmark
Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of the Republic of Finland
Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia