EU ministers gathered today in Rome agreed to work closer together in key areas for Europe's digital economy. They committed to putting the EU at the forefront of global high-performance computing and to carry out cross-border trials in connected driving.

This afternoon, ministers will launch a European platform to bring together national initiatives to digitise industry and they will discuss initiatives to help Europeans adapt to the digital transformation.

Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market welcomed the first results of the Digital Day – a joint initiative of the Republic of Italy, the Maltese EU Presidency and the European Commission. He said: "In the Europe of the early 1950s, coal and steel were the basis of a country’s power. They were the driving force behind a successful economy. Overcoming the scars of war, European countries cooperating in coal and steel marked the first step towards European integration. A few years later, in 1957, that was strengthened further when the Treaties of Rome were signed. Today, digital is to Europe what coal and steel was in the early 1950s. To remain relevant in the 21st century, the freedoms of today's European single market have to go digital. This is why creating a Digital Single Market is a priority. To secure Europe's digital future, Europeans need digital skills. We also need to digitise our industry, make sure researchers and startups have access to data and first-class technologies. We need to connect transport and make sure mobility knows no borders in the EU. Today, we are making important steps forward to make this happen."

The full speeches given by Vice-President Ansip can be found here.

Europe as a global player in high-performance computing

This morning, seven EU countries – France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and The Netherlands – committed to building the next generation of computing and data infrastructures. Super computers involve thousands of processors working in parallel to analyse great quantity of pieces of data in real time. They allow the design and simulation of the effects of new medicines, provide faster diagnosis and better treatments, control epidemics and support decision-making in electricity, water distribution, urban planning and other areas. The joint declaration on high-performance computing and more information can be found here. More EU countries are invited to join this initiative.

Cooperation on connected and automated mobility

27 EU countries, as well as Norway and Switzerland, agreed on cooperating in cross-border trials to speed up connected and automated driving. Creating cross-border pilots and jointly addressing data transmission and liability will give the EU automotive, tech and telecoms industries the advantage of a harmonised and unified market of 500 million consumers. It will also help the automotive industry maintain its global lead in the area of connected and automated cars. More information can be found here.

Discussions continue this afternoon on stepping up EU cooperation to digitise industry (more information will be available here at around 16:00 CET) and on jobs and skills in the digital era (more information will be available here at around 17:00 CET).

The Digital Day is part of the celebrations of the 60 years of the Treaties of Rome and is a direct contribution to the debate on the Future of Europe initiated by the White Paper presented by President Juncker earlier this month.

For more information

Livestream

Factsheet: Making the most of the digital opportunities in Europe

60 years of the Rome Treaties website: events per country and EU institution

White paper on the Future of Europe

Advancing Europe's digital future: Digital Headlines

2017 Digital Economy and Society Index

You can engage and participate in the Digital Day via #DigitalDay17 @DSMeu @Ansip_EU