These are my preliminary conclusions reflecting and summarising the thoughts raised in discussions. As such, I am confident they have broad support among my colleagues.
Session 1: The Future of Government
We should bring government and the public sector fully into the digital age to improve public services for citizens and businesses, contain costs and promote innovation.
- We should make it possible to conduct digitally all government proceedings involved in the free movement of people, capital, goods and services within the single market. Our primary focus should be in the areas of mobility (e.g. establishing connected and automated corridors), health (e.g. enabling personalised healthcare) and energy (e.g. use of smart technologies for energy efficiency).
- We should progressively transform our institutions to meet the challenges brought about by the digital age. We should introduce principles and measures, such as once-only or one-stop government, into the digitalisation of our national administrations, to facilitate interoperability and also cross-border digital public services.
- Digital services and infrastructure such as a secure and trusted digital identity should be accessible to every EU citizen, regardless of age or socioeconomic background.
We should make Europe a global leader in cybersecurity by 2025, in order to ensure trust, confidence and protectionof our citizens, consumers and enterprises online and to enable a free and law-governed internet.
- We need to shore up the integrity of our free and democratic societies in the digital age, both by protecting the citizens’ constitutional rights, freedoms and security online as well as the integrity and legitimacy democratic processes, in particular of our elections – with both appropriate judicial framework as well as technology.
- Europe needs a common European approach to cybersecurity, including in the area of defense. Europe has to function as a single European cyberspace and a single cybersecurity market, including in terms of world-class certification and joint standards, operational capacity, and collective crisis response. Thus, we must improve our national and joint preparedness, crisis management capabilities, emergency support and incident reporting and analysis.
- Among other measures, we need to establish and coordinate educational and awareness-raising campaigns fostering good cyber hygiene all around Europe. At the same time, we should support the development and generalisation of cybersecurity training at all stages of education.
- Together with the private sector, we should ensure the highest level of resilience of digital infrastructures, industries and services to create a competitive advantage and attract investments. Investing in secure and novel technologies, e.g. blockchain, can contribute to defending all sectors of the European economy.
- We should robustly tackle online illegal content together with online platforms. Online platforms carry a significant societal responsibility in terms of protecting users and preventing criminals from exploiting their platforms. Europe should also remain fully committed to fighting cybercrime and terrorist use of cyberspace.
Session 2: The Future of the Economy and Society
We should make the EU the ideal home for enterprises and innovators in the digital age.
As digitisation transforms sectors, we need to ensure that EU’s freedoms are fit for the digital age. Europe should aim to be the continent of disruptive innovation and technologies, making the most of the free movement of data.
- Completing the digital single market by 2018 is an important first step in realising these goals, but we should go further. We should more broadly review EU and national laws to make sure they are fit for the digital age.
- We should aim to provide excellent conditions for new forms of entrepreneurship, for startups and scale-ups in the data economy. We need to accelerate the digital transformation of industries by uptake of the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence and blockchain.
- We need to ensure a level playing field, including fair access for SMEs to platforms as the gateways to reach consumers. We must look at how competition law should evolve to take into account new business models, and consider initiatives for platform transparency.
- We are committed to a global change of taxation rules and to adapting our own tax systems to ensure that digitally-generated profits in the European Union are taxed where value is created.
- It is very important that the EU has the world’s best enabling framework for access and (re)use of data for innovative products and services, including for the development of artificial intelligence solutions, while maintaining a high level of ethics, data protection and digital rights.
We should work to empower and enable people in the digital age.
Digital skills are the new literacy, and should be taught universally. The digital economy offers major opportunities for our young people, including through startups and self-employment. We remain committed to promoting and preserving a social model fit for the digital economy.
- Our labour markets and training systems need to be adapted and made resilient, in cooperation with the private sector, to support a fluid and highly mobile work force in all sectors.
- We cannot leave anybody behind – all Europeans, in particular the unemployed, should have opportunities to acquire basic digital literacy and upgrade their existing digital skills, at all ages and levels of education.
- We should focus our activities in areas with significant likelihood of automation. Our companies need access to a highly trained talent pool suitable for the data economy and digital society.
We should invest in the growth of the digital economy, including a world-class infrastructure.
- The EU should concentrate its R&D and investment efforts, industrial policy and other measures to stimulate and assist the digital transformation of industries. This includes high performance computing facilities that enable the extraction of value from large quantities of data
- Communication networks constitute the backbone of the digital world. We should establish ambitious roadmaps to achieve a world-leading optical fibre and 5G network in the EU by 2025. We should work together at the European level to reach the scale and level of coordination needed to achieve our goals, and will make every effort to make more spectrum available in a timely and predictable manner.
- We should consider how to increase the contribution of European investments to these goals.
Read the full text in the Preliminary Conclusions of the Prime Minister of Estonia.