Towards more digital sovereignty – What did the French Presidency achieve and what still needs to be done?
Towards more digital sovereignty – What did the French Presidency achieve and what needs to be done to make Europe a leader in the digital & green transformation?
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Advancing Europe's strategic autonomy is a key objective of the European Commission - particularly with regards to the digital domain.
The COVID pandemic has demonstrated the need to accelerate the transition to a cleaner, more digital and more resilient economic and industrial model in order to maintain and strengthen Europe's aspirations for sustainable competitiveness.
Under the French Presidency the EU passed a groundbreaking piece of legislation - the Digital Markets Act. It will limit the power of gatekeeping platforms and aims to keep digital markets fair and open to competition - a prerequisite for sovereignty. Paris also supported the Commission’s plans to create trusted alternatives to non-EU offerings, by developing a European cloud ecosystem and proposing a European Digital Identity. With the new chip act, Commissioner Breton wants to reduce dependencies in the semiconductor sector, as the race for the most advanced chips is a race for technological and industrial leadership.
These are important steps, but many stakeholders are looking for more under the Czech presidency. Europe is still largely dependent on non-European companies for most of its digital life. Although the New Data Act is supposed to help the European data economy flourish, much of the industrial data generated in Europe is so far stored and processed by cloud providers abroad, and user-driven innovation comes mainly from outside the EU. To thrive economically, Europe must regain more autonomy over data and digital technology.
What other policy instruments are appropriate to strengthen European competitiveness at a time when the number of global challenges is steadily increasing? How can the Czech Presidency help realise the full potential of Digital to advance the Green transition? And how can we make sure that all actors who benefit from reliable highspeed connectivity fairly contribute to the investment in digital infrastructure, as required by ambitious connectivity targets set out by the Digital Decade 2030?
Join this EURACTIV Hybrid Conference to discuss the results of the French Presidency's digital priorities and the challenges the Czech Presidency faces in advancing Europe’s green and digital transformation.
Brussels Network Office - International Press Centre
1 Bd Charlemagne // 2nd floor
Mathieu Weill, Head of Digital Economy Department, Ministry of Economy, France
Petr Ocko, Deputy Minister for Digitalisation and Innovation, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Czech Republic
Anthony Whelan, Digital Adviser, Cabinet of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
Alexandre de Streel, Academic Director, CERRE
Wolfgang Kopf, Senior Vice President for Group Public & Regulatory Affairs, Deutsche Telekom
Mariam Zaidi, Journalist, EURACTIV
17:30 - 17:35 Welcome
17:35 - 17:55 Panellist statements
17:55 - 18:40 Discussion and Q&A
18:40 - 18:45 Closing statements
On the eve of handing over to the Czech Republic, the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union can look back on many achievements in the digital field during its six-month chairmanship.