Digital Day 2018 : Key takeaways 🔑

digital day 2018

3BS was at Digital Day 2018! A week after this key event for Europe’s digital future took place at Brussels Square, what should we remember?

The aim was to reach joint commitments related to the digital future of Europe, in order to encourage investment in European digital technologies and infrastructures, notably AI, digital healthcare and blockchain. Of all the different discussions between high-level European representatives 3BS followed, here are the key takeways:


1. The European Commission expects more contributions to the EU budget 💶

The European Commission took advantage of this day to call on the Member State governments to increase their overall contributions to the next multi-annual financial framework (MFF post-2020), to support digital development :


Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice-President

“In the Commission, preparation is under way to make the EU a digital leader. The priorities are clear: increased funding.”


Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources

“Digital should not be used as a bargaining chip, like last time, but as a priority.”

🖋 Important Signature

The discussion on investing in the future of Europe closed with the signature, by a diverse set of stakeholders, of a commitment to use the Innovation Radar, an innovative tool that identifies tangible results of the EU’s digital investments.

📆 Next key date

On May 2, 2018, the Commission will present its proposals for the next multi-annual financial framework 2021-2027. For more information, read our previous article : Quel sera l’avenir du budget européen post Brexit ?

2. A European approach on Artificial Intelligence, based on ethics 🤖

All speakers agreed that EU values must be taken into account in the economic development of Artificial Intelligence :


Mounir Mahjoubi

Mounir Mahjoubi, State Secretary of Digital Affairs, France.

“AI should be for humanity. We must ask ourselves the question of values, without undermining AI performance.”

Pat Breen

Pat Breen, Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Ireland.

“By 2050, we expect the number of jobs linked to AI to double. Ireland is boosting AI research and technology centres… and also launched the first National Master of Science in AI.”

🖋 Important signature

25 European countries signed a declaration on Cooperation in Artificial Intelligence. The declaration places particular emphasis on research, access to public data, the ethical dimension of artificial intelligence and the impact on the labor market.

📆 Next key date

On April 25, 2018, the European Commission will present its EU initiative on Artificial Intelligence. It will follow 3 priorities, according to EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel : consolidating European technological capacities, tackling its socio-economic consequences (in terms of jobs and competences) and its legal consequences (privacy, responsibility)

3. Investment in education and training as the main driver of digitalization 👨‍💻

Among other drivers of digitalization, the one that came back most is education and training :

Martina Dlabajova

Martina Dlabajova, MEP, Vice Chair of the Committee on Budgetary control, ALDE, Czech Republic.

“The main drivers are technology, consumer demand and competition. But as MEP, the correct political answer would be the people. Member States should cooperate in order to develop digital skills.”

manuel heitor

Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal

“Portugal places social inclusion as one of the key driver of innovation, and therefore thinks that bridging the digital divide is a key issue.”

🖋 Important signature

The session closed with the signature of two distinct documents: a Memorandum of Understanding between Portugal and Spain for Cooperation in the field of connected and automated driving and a Letter of Intent between Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia on cooperation in the field of Connected and Automated Driving


4. Blockchain offers multiple opportunities for Europe 🔗

All the speakers agreed that blockchain is becoming more and more critical, the applications using the technology being more and more numerous and important:

eva kaili

Eva Kaili, MEP, S&D, Greece

“Let’s not miss the opportunity to explore the possibilities of blockchain, against those who focus on the minor errors of this relatively recent technology.”

sorin moisa

Sorin Moisa, MEP, PPE, Romania

“We will tackle money laundering and scams in blockchain and crypto to restaure confidence in the technology. We need a Blockchain Single Market.”

🖋 Important signature

The session closed with the signing ceremony of the declaration of “Cooperation on a European Public Blockchain Partnership”

📆 Next key date

On 18 April 2018, the European Parliament will vote on a regulation on the fight against money laundering. Blockchain technologies will be part of it.

5. More cooperation at European level on personalized medicine 👨‍⚕️

The session was organised around the commitment to join genomic databanks on an EU level for even more successful research collaborations:

mariya gabriel

Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society

“With the right investment policy and adequate political will, the success of transnational collaboration can help strengthen and share existing databases, as well as protect those data. No Member State can act alone.”

Andrey Kovatchev

Andrey Kovatchev, MEP, EPP, Bulgaria.

“The Parliament supports the call for more funding for Digital Healthcare in the next MFF, especially in R&D. It strongly supports the initiative of collective data for personalized medicine.”

🖋 Signature importante

The session closed with the signing ceremony of the declaration on “Towards access to at least 1 Million Sequenced Genomes in the European Union”.



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