The European Commission’s “Digital Week”: a brief update


On 19 February, the European Commission published three key publications outlining in detail the European Commission’s strategy for the digital economy in the coming years. These include:

  • A Communication on “Shaping Europe’s digital future”
  • A Communication on a European strategy for data
  • A White Paper on Artificial Intelligence, together with a Report on the safety and liability implications of Artificial Intelligence, the internet of things and robotics

In this article you can find a brief summary of the three key publications.

Communication on “Shaping Europe’s digital future”

The first publication is the Communication on “Shaping Europe’s digital future”. The document is divided in four sections. The first part is about technology that works for people, which focuses on the development, deployment and uptake of technology that makes a real difference in people’s daily lives. Part of this are the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence with a legislative follow up on safety, liability, fundamental rights and data in Q4 2020. The second section is devoted to creating a fair and competitive digital economy. The third section is on creating an open, democratic and sustainable society by introducing new rules on deepening the Internal Market for Digital Services in Q4 2020, revising the eIDAS Regulation in Q4 2020 and launching a circular electronics initiative in 2021.

Communication on a European Strategy for Data

On the same day, the European Commission published its European Strategy for data, outlining a strategy for policy measures and investments to keep the EU at the forefront of the data-agile economy, while respecting and promoting European fundamental values. The Commission wants to “create a single European data space, where personal as well as non-personal data, including sensitive business data, are secure and businesses also have easy access to an almost infinite amount of high-quality industrial data, boosting growth and creating value”. Key legislative action includes an enabling legislative framework for the governance of common European data spaces (Q4 2020) and a “Data Act” (2021). The Commission has launched a public consultation on how to achieve this. The consultation is open for feedback until 19 May 2020.

White Paper on Artificial Intelligence and Report on safety and liability implications of new technologies

Finally, the European Commission also published its White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI) called “A European approach to excellence and trust”. The White Paper presents the regulatory framework for AI to establish an “Ecosystem of Trust”. The regulatory framework will focus on AI as composing of “data” and “algorithms”. However, as the EU does not want to create an excessive burden on SMEs, the regulatory framework has to take a risk-based approach, differentiating between different AI applications. The Commission also started a public consultation on the future regulatory framework for AI. The consultation is open for feedback until 19 May 2020. To complement the White Paper, the Commission published a report on the safety and liability implications of AI, the Internet of Things and robotics.


Photo:  © European Union, 2019