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 (€2 226 914 000), 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).
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 Housing, Nuno 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.