Council of the EU approves Digital Europe programme


The Digital Europe programme, the new EU funding instrument  to boost the uptake of cutting-edge technology in Europe, received the Green light from the Council of the European Union  on 16 March 

After the final approval from the European Parliament, the total budget of €7.6 billion  will be allocated over the 2021-2027 period  – starting retroactively from 1 January 2021 –  across five  areas:  high-performance  computing (€2 226 914000),  artificial intelligence  (€2 061 956000),  cybersecurity and trust  (€1 649 566000)advanced digital skills  (€577 347000)deployment, best use of digital capacities,  and  interoperability  (€1 072 217000). 

Digital Europe will be complemented by parallel programmes also  supporting the digital transformation, such as Horizon Europe, which focuses on research and technological development, and  the €2.06 billion from the digital  pillar  of the  Connecting Europe Facility  for which a provisional agreement between the Council and the European Parliament was reached on 11 March 2019. An additional boost is provided by the EU’s new Recovery and Resilience Facility regulation   which requires  national recovery and resilience plans to allocate at least 20% of expenditure  to the digital transition. 

In the note joined to the written approval, President and  Portuguese Minister for Infrastructure and HousingNuno Santos,  declared: “The Digital Europe Programme is part of the EU’s strong push to make the most of digitalisation for the benefit of its societies and economies, increase its autonomy in key technologies and bolster its competitiveness. It will help us build high-performing and secure state-of-the-art digital services for all citizens and businesses across the Union. 

The legal act is now awaiting its formal adoption by the European Parliament after which it will be published in the EU  Official  Journal and enter into force.