This is the right moment for the EU to invest in digitalization and supercomputers if we want to be a global leader. I’m afraid that in 5 years it will be too late.
Commissioner Mariya Gabriel
On 27 February 2019, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel participated in a Citizens' Dialogue in the Agricultural University in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The event was organised under the title “Technology, education, agriculture – mission digitalisation possible”. She shared the stage with Mr. Vladimir Urutchev, Member of the European Parliament.
Questions from participants addressed a large list of topics linked to digitalisation in the agriculture sector, including digitalisation’s impact on bio-products, food safety and regional development. Many participants expressed concerns that digitalisation may increase the gap between large and small farmers as bigger enterprises have the opportunity to invest more resources in new technologies.
Another important topic during the Dialogue was the so-called “dark side” of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potentially negative impact on employment in the future.
Participants were worried that AI may destroy jobs and wanted to find out more about the measures that the EU will take to protect European workers. They were also concerned about rural depopulation and asked for more information about the mechanisms that the EU has developed to stop the process.
One of the participants shared a personal story about obstacles she met when she applied for EU funding. She raised a question about data protection and cybersecurity in the online application platforms.