The Digital Champions are ambassadors for the Digital Agenda for Europe who are appointed by their Member States to help every European become digital. Each member state has defined their own Champion’s role, but in essence it is to promote the role and use of information and communication technologies by connecting people, policies and sectors.
The Digital Champions have different profiles. Some work for government authorities or public bodies such as national libraries, others are entrepreneurs, academics or representatives of civil society. What is uniting them is their passion to help people take advantage of the digital Opportunities by actively working on and promoting digital inclusion, e-government, ICT education, digital skills and entrepreneurship, etc.
Each Digital Champion develops initiatives in their own countries to get people more digital. Digital Champions encounter similar challenges across the European Union. By ensuring regular contact between the Champions, the European Commission provides a platform to discuss and compare action at grass-roots level, and mobilises citizens and businesses to take advantage of the digital economy.
The Champions also advise the Commission on its policies. They meet at least twice a year, and more often virtually.
The initiative was launched by President Barroso and Vice-President Kroes in February 2012. It was inspired by the United Kingdom, which appointed Martha Lane Fox as UK Digital Champion and asked her to advise and challenge the government on how to make greater and faster progress to get people online. Since then 25 Member States have appointed their national Champions.
Read also the letter signed by José Manuel Barroso (pdf 150 Kb), President of the European Commission