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European Commission - Statement

Joint statement on ensuring Europe´s digital future

Brussels, 9 April 2019

At Digital Day 2019, participating Ministers and representatives of the EU confirmed their full commitment to work more closely in key areas where digital technologies will make a significant impact in the coming years.

European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip, Commissioners Tibor Navracsics, Phil Hogan and Mariya Gabriel welcomed the commitments from European countries to step up cooperation on the digitalisation of cultural heritage, digitalisation of agriculture and rural areas, and promoting greater participation of women in digital. They said in a joint statement:

“We are delighted to see that so many EU Member States are committing to advance digital cooperation in these areas. 26 European countries signed today the Declaration to increase women's visibility and empowerment in the digital economy. 24 Member States pledged to pool efforts and resources for a smart and sustainable future for European agriculture and rural areas. And 24 European countries opted for closer cooperation in digitising cultural heritage.

Digital technologies have the potential to improve the quality of life in rural areas by tackling important economic, social and environmental challenges, and help to preserve Europe's rich cultural heritage and make it accessible to everyone. In view of this, it is important that these developments are inclusive.

Joining forces is essential to build a digital future for Europe and we need to act quickly on all fronts, as the demand for good connection, relevant competences and access to the online world is growing rapidly in all sectors. We can achieve a functioning Digital Single Market only by promoting digitisation and tearing down barriers together.

We encourage the participating countries to follow up on their commitments with swift actions, and are ready to support them. We hope that this year's Declarations will result in similarly tangible results as those agreed on in previous years – for example on boosting the EU's joint efforts on supercomputing in 2017 and on artificial intelligence in 2018.”

Background

Today at the Digital Day 2019, EU Member States signed three Declarations to pool efforts and resources for accelerating digital developments in key areas that can bring tangible benefits to our economies and our societies. The event brought Member States and EU institutions together with partners from industry, academia and civil society.

The participating Member States signed Declarations of cooperation on:

The Declarations follow the successful cooperation launched in previous editions of the event, e.g. on artificial intelligence in 2018 and on supercomputing in 2017.

Highlights of the Digital Day 2019 also included the presentation of the guidelines for trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI) by the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (see also yesterday's Commission's Communication on AI), as well as a number of panel discussions, including on the progress of the Digital Single Market.

On Monday, ahead of the Digital Day, stakeholders from the Southern Mediterranean met to discuss for new ways of working together for connectivity and data at the Digital4Med conference.

For More Information

Opening speech by Vice-President Ansip, Digital Day 2019

Speech by Commissioner Navracsics, Digital Day 2019

Press release: Digital Day 2019

Declaration on Digitisation for European Agriculture and rural areas

Declaration on Digitising Cultural Heritage

Declaration on Women in Digital

Factsheet: A Digital Single Market for the benefits of all Europeans

Timeline: Digital Single Market – Commission actions since 2015

Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence

#DigitalDay19

STATEMENT/19/2070

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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