Negotiators from the European Council and European Parliament have agreed a provisional deal for a new 'Digital Europe' programme. Intended to run for the duration of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027, Digital Europe will have an overall budget of €7.588 million to speed up the digital transformation of European societies and economies by promoting large-scale deployment of state-of-the art technology, such as artificial intelligence and the latest cybersecurity tools.
Funding will be for projects in five action areas, each with their own indicative budget:
- High performance computing: €2,226,914,000.
- Artificial intelligence: €2,061,956,000.
- Cybersecurity and trust: €1,649,566,000.
- Advanced digital skills: €577,347,000.
- Deployment, best use of digital capacities, and interoperability: €1,072,217,000.
The programme will be put into practice through future multiannual work programmes covering one or more of the five action areas. It will involve co-financing from member states and, when needed, from the private sector. Digital Europe will also be complementary to other programmes supporting digital transition, including Horizon Europe and the digital aspects of the Connecting Europe Facility.
Peter Altmaier, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, President of the European Council, said: 'Reinforced digital capacities will bring real added value for EU citizens, and this is even more true as the global pandemic continues to hold us in its grip. It is unclear when the COVID-19 experience will be over, but it is clear that digital services are becoming a key driver of our economic growth and that the role of digital technologies will grow even stronger. It is also evident that the digital sector will play a key role in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery, which makes the Digital Europe programme a vital element of the recovery plan'.
The provisional agreement will now be submitted to the European Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) for endorsement.
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