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EU countries sign commitments in three areas: connectivity, start-ups and green digital transformation

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Member states commit on the Digital Day 2021 to key digital initiatives for Europe's Digital Decade

Fostering international connectivity, incentivising the rollout of clean digital technologies and improving the regulatory environment for start-ups and scale-ups. This is what  Ministers representing EU Member States have committed to after signing three declarations on Digital Day 2021 to pool efforts and resources.

These commitments will help accelerate Europe’s green and digital transformation, and will also contribute to the vision and goals of Europe’s Digital Decade.

The fourth edition of the Digital Day, organised by the Commission and the Portuguese Presidency of the Council, brought together Members of the European Parliament, Member State ministers, industry leaders and other stakeholders.

Three areas of commitment

The participating Member States made concrete commitments in three key areas, namely connectivity, start-ups and clean digital technologies.

Connectivity: Europe to reinforce global connectivity networks through its Data gateways

27 European countries have committed to strengthen connectivity between Europe and its partners in Africa, Asia, the European Neighbourhood and Latin America, after signing the Declaration on “European Data Gateways as a key element of the EU’s Digital Decade“.

The focus will be on terrestrial and submarine cables, satellites and network links to increase and secure data exchange.

Startups: Startups and scale-ups to benefit from best practices

25 European countries have signed the Declaration on “European Union Startup Nations Standard“, which aims to ensure that all European start-ups and scale-ups take advantage of best practices adopted by successful start-up ecosystems.

To this end, the Commission, Member States and industry stakeholders have identified a number of best practices that contribute to a growth-friendly environment. These include the processing of visa applications from third countries, the tax treatment of stock options and increasing the amount and diversity of private equity. The aim is for these practices to become the norm.

Green digital transformation: mobilising investments in clean digital technologies

26 European countries have signed the Declaration on “A Green and Digital Transformation of the EU” to accelerate the use of green digital technologies for the benefit of the environment.

Member States will work together to accelerate the deployment and promotion of:

  • 5G and 6G networks
  • Optical fibre
  • High Performance Computing
  • Internet of Things
  • Clouds
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Green blockchain technologies
  • Sustainable IT equipment
  • Green public procurement
  • Supporting green tech start-ups and SMEs

In addition, 26 ICT business leaders have joined the “European Green Digital Coalition”, committing on behalf of their companies to substantially reduce their carbon footprint by 2030 and to become climate neutral by 2040.

Solutions include, among others:

  • Investing in the development of more energy and material efficient digital technologies.
  • Working with relevant NGOs and specialised organisations to measure and track the net environmental impact of green digital solutions.

Finally, they commit to jointly formulate guidelines on the deployment of green digital solutions together with other industry leaders to accelerate the transition to sustainability in sectors such as energy, transport, construction and agriculture.

Source: European Commission