DIGITALEUROPE released today its visionary manifesto, “Europe 2030: a Digital Powerhouse’’ offering 20 solutions to position Europe as a global leader in advanced technologies like AI and cyber while boosting its digital resilience and ensuring that everyone benefits from the digital transformation. 

The stakes are high for Europe” said Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl,DIGITALEUROPE’s Director-General.  

In the last five years we’ve seen a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, economic and climate crises and war on our borders. The one constant has been the positive role played by digital technologies to boosting our resilience.  

The EU has rightly put digital at the top of its priorities: since 2019 we’ve seen an unprecedented €150 billion digital investment from the COVID recovery funds to a target-led Digital Decade strategy inspired by our last manifesto. But the past five years have also brought a tsunami of regulation to govern the digital space.  

The fact is, we are behind on most of the targets set by ourselves and the European Commission. We have learned the hard way – we cannot regulate our way to success, we need to think about how we implement, how we incentivise, how we collaborate. This manifesto lays out a 20-solution roadmap to get Europe back on track” 

The manifesto comes at a critical time for Europe following the European Commission’s 2023 report revealing the EU falling behind on crucial Digital Decade targets. The EU aims for 75% of businesses to utilise big data by 2030, yet at the current projection is just 34%. Similarly, AI adoption lags at 20%. 

Moreover, the number of SMEs selling across at least one European borderhas flatlined at around 8% since 2019 against a target of 30% by 2025 and only one in ten of the world’s most profitable tech companies have their headquarters in the EU.

How to make Europe a Digital Powerhouse 

A taster of our solutions: 

  • A 25% digital spending target for all EU and NATO funds, building on the success of the target COVID recovery funds. 
  • Take stock and streamline EU data rules. Before we put any more rules governing data into place, let’s make sure the current rules work and iron out overlaps, adjusting where necessary. 
  • Compulsory regulatory sandboxing with companies before the legislation comes into force. A new way to do the ‘competitiveness check’ modelled on our own work testing the AI Act.  
  • A ‘twin transition fund’ to coordinate investments in transformative green technologies. Not necessarily new funds, but spending what we have more wisely on our joint priorities. 
  • A Commission measured by new KPIs on digital transformation and ease of doing business. A new horizontal role focused on the digitalisation of key economic sectors, removing single market barriers and achieving Digital Decade targets. 

Our Key Performance Indicators for 2030 

Building on the Commission’s digital decade strategy, the manifesto sets out more key performance indicators (KPIs) that we will use to measure policymakers and our progress towards the goal of becoming a digital powerhouse by 2030. Some of these KPIs include: 

  • 75% of EU companies use cloud computing services, big data, and AI. 
  • Doubling the number of unicorns in the EU. 
  • 30% of European SMEs trade across at least one European border. 
  • 85% of EU companies use ICT to reduce their environmental footprint. 
  • 50% of citizens having ‘above basic level’ digital skills. 

‘’These KPIs are ambitious, but they are achievable,” affirmed Bonefeld-Dahl. “If we work together, we can make Europe a digital powerhouse by 2030.”