The European Commission has announced a significant investment of €762.7 million in digital solutions as part of the Digital Europe work programmes for 2024. These funds are aimed at advancing digital technologies, strengthening cybersecurity, and promoting artificial intelligence (AI) development within the European Union.
Boosting digital transformation with €549 million
The main work programme for 2024, with a budget of nearly €549 million, will primarily focus on the deployment of projects harnessing digital technologies. Key areas of emphasis include data, cloud computing, and the development of advanced digital skills. These initiatives are poised to benefit citizens, public administrations, and businesses across the EU.
One notable aspect of this programme is its support for the smooth implementation of Digital Decade multi-country projects. Additionally, opportunities for European Digital Infrastructure Consortia (EDICs) will be created, fostering collaboration among member states to advance digital infrastructure projects. Furthermore, the programme will introduce new actions to support the implementation of the AI Act, with a specific focus on bolstering the European AI ecosystem, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Fortifying cybersecurity with €214 million
Recognizing the growing importance of cybersecurity in an increasingly digital world, the European Commission has allocated €214 million for 2024 to enhance the EU’s collective resilience against cyber threats. These funds will support actions that strengthen cybersecurity measures, ultimately safeguarding critical infrastructure and digital assets. Implementation of these initiatives will be overseen by the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre.
Timetable for action
The first calls for proposals under the Digital Europe Programme are expected to be published early in 2024. As the year progresses, more opportunities for projects and initiatives will follow in the spring, providing ample avenues for stakeholders to engage and contribute to the EU’s digital transformation goals.
Margrethe Vestager, President of the European Commission, expressed the importance of the Digital Europe Programme as a means to pool EU and national funding to achieve ambitious digital projects. She emphasized that this collaborative effort is crucial for Europe to meet its digital decade targets, focusing on digital skills, excellence in artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity.
Thierry Breton, Commissioner of the European Commission, highlighted the program’s role in bolstering Europe’s leadership and sovereignty in digital technologies. He underlined the significance of the EU AI Act and its potential to boost the development of a thriving European AI startup ecosystem. Additionally, Breton emphasized the program’s ability to collectively scale up capabilities in cloud computing, data management, and cybersecurity, along with the necessary digital skills.
The European Commission’s allocation of €762.7 million for digital solutions in 2024 signifies a bold commitment to advancing digitalization, bolstering cybersecurity, and promoting AI development within the European Union. With a clear focus on key areas such as data, cloud computing, and digital skills, this initiative aims to enhance the EU’s global standing in the digital realm.
As the first calls for proposals are set to be published early in the coming year, stakeholders across the EU will have the opportunity to participate actively in shaping the future of digital transformation within the region. This investment underscores the European Union’s dedication to harnessing the power of technology for the benefit of its citizens, public administrations, and businesses.