Strengthening digital infrastructure and data sovereignty in Europe

A new report, published by EIT Digital, provides a scenario-based framework for the development of digital infrastructure and data policy instruments to strengthen European digital sovereignty.

Recent discussions around access to 5G technology and COVID-19 contact tracing apps highlight the need for European digital sovereignty. In its latest policy perspective report on ‘EUROPEAN DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE- AND DATA SOVEREIGNTY’, EIT Digital discuss their concrete scenario-based framework for digital policy development. This new study provides an overview of policy motivations, trends, instruments, and the roles of various actors in defining the perception of and perspectives for Europe’s digital sovereignty.

“What becomes clear is that we need coordinated action between the policy shapers at European and national levels and the makers from business and industry to create a sovereign European digital reality.

“Key are policies that enhance innovation and respect European values and rights while creating equal economic opportunity for all actors,” says EIT Digital CEO Willem Jonker.

Digital enlightenment

EIT Digital collaborated with the DIGITAL ENLIGHTENMENT FORUM to execute this new report. The study supports the development of policies that aim at strengthening European sovereignty in digital infrastructures and the handling of data. Digital infrastructure control and data regulation are complementary and can be combined in various ways leading to different scenarios.

This report presents regulators with a new framework of policy choices, based on four scenarios that combine the methods used in infrastructure control with those used in weak to strong data protection. These scenarios are assessed with respect to their impact on the policy objectives growth, fairness, innovation potential, citizens trust, and level playing field.

The impact assessment serves as a high-level guidance for concrete policy development, and as such provides an important tool for the development of digital infrastructure and data policy instruments from a European Digital sovereignty perspective.

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