16 Mar 2021
Council gives green light to Digital Europe Programme
On 16 March 2021, the Council of the EU adopted the EU's new Digital Europe Programme. The programme aims at boosting the digital transformation by providing funding for rolling out cutting-edge technology in crucial areas such as artificial intelligence, supercomputing and cybersecurity. It has a budget of €7,588 million for the period 2021-2027 and will start retroactively from 1 January 2021. Following the adoption of the programme by the Council, its adoption by the European Parliament is to follow.
The Digital Europe Programme will fund projects in five areas, each with its own indicative budget:
- 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 complementary to several other programmes supporting the digital transformation, including Horizon Europe and the digital aspects of the Connecting Europe Facility. In addition, under the new Recovery and Resilience Facility regulation, the national recovery and resilience plans have to allocate at least 20% of expenditure to the digital transition.
The Council's vote was taken by written procedure, the Council has adopted its position at first reading. The legal act now needs to be adopted by the European Parliament at second reading before being published in the EU Official Journal. The regulation will enter into force on the day of its publication.
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