On 13th of March 2019, the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the EU Council (Coreper) confirmed the common understanding reached by the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, on digital field, and the European Parliament, on the proposal to establish a new financing program, “Digital Europe”, for the period 2021-2027. The aim of the program is to promote the large-scale roll-out and uptake of key digital technologies such as artificial intelligence applications and state-of-the-art cybersecurity tools.

“The Digital Europe Program will support European businesses, especially small businesses, to benefit of the vast opportunities of digital transformation, to scale up and gain a competitive edge on the market. At the same time, the Program will have a significant impact on filling the competences digital gap across the Union so that European citizens have the necessary skills and knowledge to face the digital transformation”, stated Alexandru Petrescu, Minister for Communications and Information Society of Romania, President of the TTE Council.

The Digital Europe programme will provide funding for projects in five crucial areas: supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills, and ensuring wide use of digital technologies across the economy and society. Funding for projects to build up high-performance computing will benefit areas such as healthcare, environment and security.

At the same time, the programme will support advanced digital skills training for citizens, as well as for small and medium-sized enterprises and public administrations. The provision of financing will help ensure that people have easy, trusted and seamless access to digital public services, for instance by enhancing the EU-wide interoperability of public services.

Digital Europe will be complementary to a number of other programmes supporting digital transformation, such as Horizon Europe and the digital aspects of the Connecting Europe Facility.

The common understanding excludes budget-related and horizontal issues which are currently being discussed as part of the negotiations on the EU’s next multiannual financial framework (MFF) covering the period 2021 to 2027.