Europe plans for a digital economic recovery

Will €11 billion create a digital renaissance in Europe? Its leaders think so.

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Europe's NextGeneration EU Recovery Plan includes €11.5 billion of digital investment and is therefore dubbed a Marshall Plan for Covid-19 economic recovery across the European Union. With the recovery plan, Europe states high ambitions for digitisation, sustainability and solutions to the supply chain challenges. Its backers believe the EU has the money and the ideas to become a digital leader.

The plan has seven investment areas, including innovation to the single market, digitisation, increased cohesion and resilience, the environment, border management, defence, neighbourhoods and public administration; together they amount to €806 billion of investment.

"The 20220s will be Europe's digital decade," Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, told the Masters of Digital Conference of the investment programme. "These funds will be matched by private investment," she added.

"Europe is becoming more attractive for foreign giants like Intel," Von der Leyen said of the announcement that the semiconductor company picked Germany for a new chip fabrication plant.

Role of law

Riding on the success of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which has set the standards for data and privacy regulations in parts of the USA, Asia-Pacific and, very soon, India, the European Union believes a set of strong regulations will boost technology opportunities. "We must protect people and their rights with clear rules," Von der Leyen said.

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