Digital Europe is an initiative aimed at strengthening the digital capacity of Europe. It also aims at creating common European data spaces and fosters digital and media literacy across the continent. The project was launched in January 2010 and was funded by the European Commission.

Investing in digital europe

Digital Europe is a new European Union funding programme to help the EU take advantage of digital technologies. It is part of the Multiannual Financial Framework, or MFF, for 2021-2027. The programme is intended to answer challenges of a changing world, such as health and communication, as well as strengthening technological sovereignty.

It would support advanced digital skills, such as cyber-security and artificial intelligence, and promote digital literacy. It would also provide a strategic framework to support digitalisation and economic recovery. This is the first funding programme focusing on digital technology from the EU.

The programme aims to address digitalisation gaps in Europe and help reach climate neutrality goals. It will be implemented through coordinated strategic co-investment with Member States and a network of European Digital Innovation Hubs.

These centres will be opened to public administrations, and private businesses in the EU member states and EFTA/EEA countries. They will offer access to advanced digital technologies and support the transition to a greener economy.

European digitalisation hubs are a key tool in EU policies. Their work programme has a budget of EUR329 million until the end of 2023.

Digital technologies have the potential to lower global CO2 emissions by up to 20%. But the EU still lags behind many of its competitors. In order to fully tap this potential, connectivity is necessary to deliver speed, latency and coverage.

For example, Europe's fibre broadband deployment is lagging behind Japan and the US. As a result, European firms have not adopted digital technologies as effectively as their US counterparts. Nevertheless, digital companies tend to be more productive, and therefore more likely to create jobs.

Strengthening Europe's digital capacity

The EU's Digital Europe Programme aims to support the wide deployment of digital technologies across the European economy. It will support projects in five core capacity areas: Artificial Intelligence (AI), supercomputing, cybersecurity, digitisation of public services, and training and skills.

Digital technologies can make Europe greener, more efficient, and more productive. They can improve health and well-being and create competitive jobs. In addition, they can help reduce inequalities and improve public services. But only if they are used appropriately. This is why the EU's Digital for Development Hub is a vital component of the new Digital Europe programme.

The Digital for Development Hub will serve as a focal point for Europe's digitalisation efforts. It will also act as a platform for knowledge exchange amongst Europe and its partner countries.

The new Digital for Development Hub will promote the human-centric European model. This is important for the future resilience of Europe. While some countries have developed their own visions of advanced technologies, the EU is interested in promoting a single European vision.

In addition to the main European agenda, a number of Asia-Pacific countries have begun to set up capacity-building projects. For example, China and Japan have both introduced programmes to help their partners build up their digital capacities.

As the world becomes more digitalized, the EU has an opportunity to lead in this field. To do so, it needs to break down national silos and encourage collaboration with its neighbours.

Common European data spaces

Common European data spaces are one of the main building blocks in the European Commission's ambition to build a Digital Public Space. These spaces facilitate data pooling and cross-border access to key datasets. They also improve interoperability and foster new products and services based on accessible data.

Common European data spaces are expected to be a core tissue of a competitive European data economy. The European Commission plans to invest four to six billion euros in them. Moreover, they will help Europe in steering international efforts.

Data spaces must be open, interoperable, and machine readable. In addition, they must be standardised. Lastly, they need to be documented.

To develop these spaces, the European Commission is relying on the work of various stakeholders. For example, the Data Innovation Board proposes a set of guidelines for common European data spaces. It has also established a technical baseline.

Data Spaces are a crucial element of digital transformation. They help public institutions to communicate with citizens and improve government services. At the same time, they allow businesses to have full control over the data they generate. Consequently, they will be in a better position to generate innovative new business aspects.

Common European data spaces are multi-nested, and they will benefit both the private and public sectors. Their primary purpose is to provide data exchange and increase data quality. As such, they should be open and accessible to both private and public organisations.

Fostering digital and media literacy in Europe

Digital and media literacy in Europe is a key factor for social, economic and cultural development. The digital and media skills of citizens will enable their participation in the global information society. It is also critical for the development of democratic societies.

There are several international organizations that have launched initiatives promoting digital and media literacy in European countries. However, the challenge lies in creating effective strategies to address the issue. This is because the information landscape is fast changing. To make a difference, policy and governance frameworks need to be created. Moreover, public and private investments need to be made.

In addition, teachers need incentives to become media literacy fluent. These include time and recognition. Ideally, a whole-of-school approach is preferred. If possible, professional experts should rotate into education settings.

The Media & Learning Association has partnered with the European Digital Media Observatory to promote the development of media literacy. This includes a series of online events aiming to identify good practice and good examples of digital and media literacy projects.

An important first step is to map the field in Europe. A study of 547 projects across Europe aimed to understand the current situation. Detailed national and project-level summaries are included.

EAVI (European Alliance for the Value of Information) engages various stakeholders, including media professionals, students, parents, civil society organisations, schools, media consumers and businesses. Through dialogue and debate, it recognises the importance of fostering media literacy.

Coordination mechanisms for programming and implementation

Coordination mechanisms are the linchpin for effective project outcomes. These mechanisms can be defined as documentation, plans, formalization, and informal mutual adjustment. The benefits of these mechanisms vary according to their usage.

Formalization, on the other hand, is the process of standardizing work processes within a company. This is done by employing organizational structures and tools such as formal contracts, policies, and procedures.

Informal mutual adjustment, on the other hand, is a form of coordination that involves the interaction of team members in a casual or impromptu manner. Examples of this kind of coordination include impromptu meetings, joint development, and informal communications.

While there is a lot of research on the topic, few studies address the coordination meccas that pertain to GVTs. Nevertheless, the GVTI-CM conceptual model (see Figure 2) proposes that all virtual team issues impact coordination mechanisms in a similar fashion.

It's not surprising, then, that many studies find that coordination is a challenge. For example, researchers have noted that coordination can be affected by geographic distance and the time it takes to travel between locations. In some cases, this can reduce the effectiveness of traditional coordination measures.

One of the best ways to combat these challenges is to implement some form of "context intervention," i.e., a framework that is specifically designed to enable the best possible interactions among team members. Such interventions may include the use of collaboration platforms or ICT tools.

Evaluating digital europe projects

The European Commission has published an outline of its plans to evaluate digital Europe projects. These projects will benefit citizens, businesses, and the EU. Specifically, the Commission's plan focuses on five key areas: cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, advanced digital skills, supercomputing, and green technologies.

The Digital Europe Programme has a budget of EUR7.5 billion. It supports wide use of digital technologies across society and accelerates the economic recovery. This programme will also support a range of projects in five crucial capacity areas: digitisation of the economy, health, security, and research and innovation.

The Digital Europe programme will support the spread of digital technologies across Europe. The programme will fund research and innovation, supercomputing, and advanced digital skills. In addition, the programme will help to improve the resilience of the EU Single Market.

One important component of the programme is the Digital Health Taskforce, which brings together experts from various sectors to provide digital solutions for integrated care. As part of the initiative, the Commission has also established a network of European Digital Innovation Hubs. Those hubs will provide expertise and advice to companies seeking to enhance their digital capabilities. They will also act as hubs for the development of digital technologies, and will provide training and financing advice.

Another major aspect of the Digital Europe programme is the creation of a common reference framework for digital competences. For this, the project partners will develop a vertical curriculum for digital competences, and will identify digital competences in different school levels.