27 June 2023

On 27 June, the European Internet Forum organised a summer reception – hosted by Tsvetelina Penkova MEP and EIF Member – with Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, as guest of honour for an exchange of views on the Digital Decade policy programme and priorities for the last part of the EU political cycle.

Summer Reception with EC Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager

MEP Tsvetelina Penkova welcomed participants expressing her delight for being able to welcome Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager at the European Internet Forum. She highlighted the challenges that the European Union faces in terms of aligning with the rapid pace of technological and digital advancements. Reflecting on the Covid-19 pandemic, she acknowledged that policymakers have struggled to adapt to technological developments, but asserted that the EU has made efforts to foster a digital transformation beneficial for its citizens and industries.

EVP Margrethe Vestager opened her speech emphasizing the importance of human-centric digitisation. She underlined the EU's strategic objective of creating a digitally sovereign Europe that serves its citizens. She advocated for cross-border, large-scale projects that address the limitations of individual member states, stressing the necessity for a robust and timely understanding of whether strategic targets are being met. She also discussed guidance to member states for their national digital decade strategic roadmaps, stressing the need for customisation as one plan does not fit all.

EVP Vestager declared that more effort is needed in developing skilled professionals for the digital age. She mentioned the difficulties in implementing legislation like the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act, but underscored their importance in changing perceptions and behaviors. Finally, she emphasized the role of European values in the digital era, as outlined in the Declaration of Digital Rights and Principles, which anchors humanity and rights in its digital policy program.


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