The key role of local and regional authorities in implementing the Digital Europe programme should be considered in all measures to speed up the development of the Digital Single Market.
The CoR highlights that 70% of EU legislation is implemented at local and regional level and emphasises the synergies between different EU programmes, financial instruments and regional strategies.
One amendment of the opinion on Digital Europe programme (AM 1 "A consortium of legal entities") is one of the amendments adopted by the Parliament. The most important views of the DSM (Digital transformation, Horizon Europe, Innovative business models, Digital infrastructure, Artificial intelligence, Digital skills, Digital technologies) which are part of the CoR opinion are part of the amendments adopted by the Parliament in Plenary.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- welcomes the European Commission's legislative proposal for the new Digital Europe programme (DEP). This is the first time that the Commission has proposed a package integrating digitalisation, research and innovation into all major EU programmes and into European wide societal development. The key role of local and regional authorities in implementing the DEP should be considered in all measures to speed up the development of the Digital Single Market, (DSM);
- when establishing the network of Digital Innovation Hubs, it is important to have sufficient coverage for all regions; the target is to have a DIH in every region. Providing the possibility of a consortium running the DIH would strengthen the base of the network by involving several stakeholders, such as universities, research centres, innovation centres etc.;
- welcomes DEP investments in advanced high-capacity digital infrastructure such as 5G networks, which are necessary to enable the deployment of digital services and technologies everywhere in Europe. Broadband has an instrumental role in developing innovative and competitive digital services, for which reason the CoR calls for a quick 5G standardisation to ensure the interoperability of telecommunication networks;
- stresses the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) as a promising technology to be applied for sustainable growth and societal challenges. AI therefore has to be strengthened, ensuring the quality of data and securing personal privacy, while still allowing anonymous data mining, machine-based learning and the foundation for pattern recognition;
- calls for building digital platforms by creating generic reusable solutions in digital authentication, trust and secure services.