EU Leaders Give Guidance on EU’s Digital Transformation
26 April 2021
2018-Max_Planck_Herr_Wahl_1355_black white_Zuschnitt.jpg Thomas Wahl

The EU must enhance its digital sovereignty in a self-determined and open manner, said EU leaders at the video conference of the European Council on 25 March 2021. The Council is invited to swiftly examine the Commission’s Communication on the 2030 Digital Compass (→ related link), in order to develop the digital policy programme. In addition, the European Council gave guidance on the following issues, which outline the EU's future digital policy priorities:

  • Strengthening the European policy approach as regards further systems of critical infrastructure and strategic sectors;
  • Widening the EU policy toolbox for digital transformation;
  • Better exploiting the potential of data and digital technologies for the benefit of society, the environment, and the economy while upholding relevant data protection, privacy, and other fundamental rights;
  • Strengthening the Single Market for digital services, in particular by swiftly adopting the Commission’s proposal on digital services, digital markets, and data governance (→ eucrim 4/2020, 273-275);
  • Promoting digital EU standards at the international level and developing global digital rules in cooperation with like-minded partners;
  • Finding a solution for the tax challenges of the digital economy, whereby a common solution within the framework of the OECD should be sought first.

The European Council also made statements on several data-related issues that concern law enforcement. In this context, EU leaders stressed the need for law enforcement authorities to rely on data retention in order to effectively combat serious crime. Furthermore, the EU should create common data spaces, including access to and interoperability of data. The European Council also looks forward to the Commission’s proposal for a regulatory framework on artificial intelligence.