EU pledges to invest €2 billion for digital transformation

November 11, 2021 by
Frank Calviño
Foto de freestocks.org en Pexels

The European Commission has promised to invest €2 billion for the digital transformation of Europe. The information was released via an official statement, this past Wednesday. 

The new Digital Europe Programme will be split between three different areas. The main of these areas will receive a total of €1.38 billion in funding. This area will promote the research and implementation of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and data spaces, and quantum communication infrastructure, as well as foster the education of the European society towards developing advanced digital skills. 

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The Commission also published two extra very specific work programs: 

  • The first one focuses on funding cybersecurity, with a budget of €269 million and a deadline of 2022. 
  • The second one focuses on the set-up and operation of the network of European Digital Innovation Hubs, with a budget of €329 million, and is planned to be fully effective by the end of 2023.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age, said: “With the Digital Europe Programme, we are building secure and sustainable digital infrastructures. We are also enabling businesses to gain better access to data or use solutions powered by artificial intelligence. The program also invests to ensure that Europeans can get the right skills to actively participate in the labor market. The aim is that everyone in Europe - citizens, businesses, and administrations - can benefit from market-ready technological solutions.”

Will the digital transformation promote cross-border commerce?

Yes and no. In the long run, obviously, the entire economy of the European Union will benefit from access to better more advanced, and more efficient technologies.

But in the short term, the Digital Europe Programme is not providing any immediate benefit for cross-border commerce or for e-commerce in general. 

What happened to the European Payment Solution? 

Regardless of the European Commission's efforts towards digital transformation, the most advanced and mature initiative for a real digital impact on the European economy comes from the private sector. The European Payment Solution -EPI- could be a real boost for cross-border commerce inside the EU.

Since last year, sixteen banks from five euro countries have been working for over a year to verify the feasibility of implementing this European Payment Solution via digital payments. 

The founding banks will set up an interim company by the end of September 2020 and aim to register the target company in the last quarter of 2021. The solution is to go live in the first quarter of 2022 with a three- to four-year migration phase.

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