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Opinion Number: CDR 195/2022
Rapporteur: ARMAO Gaetano
Commission: ECON
Status: Adopted
Date: 12/10/2022
 
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

 recalls that the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) highlighted digital cohesion as a key anchor in creating inclusive societies in the EU: "digital cohesion" is an important additional dimension of the traditional concept of economic, social and territorial cohesion defined in the EU Treaty ;

 notes that the scope of measures to take to address digital divides overlap several policy areas, making digital cohesion a horizontal endeavour. Therefore welcomes the COFE's recognition of digital cohesion as complementary to economic, social and territorial cohesion ; considers that digital cohesion is a component of economic, social and territorial cohesion and that it has to be addressed as a public service good;

 notes that digital skills and digital infrastructure are key for the development of all the other dimensions of the Digital Compass and thus recommends that the European Commission undertake and commit to a dedicated long-term strategy, resources and coordination mechanisms, leveraging large scale projects based on Member States cooperation, to ensure every citizen has up-to-date digital skills and infrastructures;

 suggests that a robust and comprehensive system of local digital indicators measuring digital maturity be developed to serve as background for decision-making, including as criteria for determination of resources for economic, social and territorial cohesion within the meaning of the Common Provisions Regulation currently in force;

 proposes that the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions shall cooperate to move toward a Digital Compass that concretely takes into account the territorial dimension. This will allow moving from the assessment of progress in terms of digitalisation and digital transformation in Europe to the evolution of digital cohesion across territories.
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