As part of the next long-term EU budget – the Multiannual Financial Framework – the Commission has proposed Digital Europe, a programme focused on building the strategic digital capacities of the EU and on facilitating the wide deployment of digital technologies. With a planned overall budget of €7.5 billion (in current prices), it will shape and support the digital transformation of Europe’s society and economy.

image evoking innovation in technologies

The programme will boost investments in supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills, and ensuring a wide use of digital technologies across the economy and society, including through Digital Innovation Hubs. Its goal is to improve Europe's competitiveness in the global digital economy and achieve technological sovereignty. It will do so by deploying and capacity-building new digital technologies, in order to support digital transformation that will guarantee high quality public services benefiting citizens and businesses.

Digital Europe will complement other EU programmes, such as the Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation, as well as the Connecting Europe Facility for digital infrastructure.

Strategic planning

The Commission has published draft Orientations for Digital Europe, which will shape the work programmes and calls for proposals for the programme’s first two years (2021-2022). Between July and October 2019, a consultation was held to gather views on the Orientations, open to anyone with an interest in the digital transformation of Europe’s economy and society.

The Digital Excellence Forum at ICT Proposers' Day, held in Helsinki on 19-20 September 2019, was also an opportunity to give feedback on the Digital Europe programme.

Next steps

A political agreement was reached on 14 December 2020. Adoption of the Programme and launch of the first calls are planned for the first quarter of 2021.

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