Bitkom on the European Commission’s Corona Recovery Plan

  • Bitkom President Berg: „Europe needs to become a global digital leader“

Berlin, 27 May 2020 - Bitkom President Achim Berg comments on the European Commission’s Corona Recovery Plan:

“The Commission’s investment programme is a unique opportunity to advance both the digital and the green transformation. Never before have we seen such a willingness to invest in the future of our European economy and society. However, money alone will not be enough. It also needs to be invested in the right places. The investment package needs to support the development and deployment of digital technologies. To this end, we recommend a voucher system for digital technologies. Speed is of the essence. Requests for financial support should be digitised and not unnecessarily bureaucratic. The German system for issuing emergency aid during the Corona crisis could serve as an example. There is also a need for better regulation. Instead of data silos we need data spaces, for instance in fields such as mobility, health and industrial production. The foundation for these data spaces should be a voluntary exchange of data.

The digital transformation of our economy does not contradict the European Commission’s Green New Deal at all – rather the opposite. Digitisation and sustainability need each other. It is therefore important to specifically focus on those technologies that advance both our economy and ecology in equal measure. Key words here are 5G deployment, Artificial Intelligence, smart mobility and smart grids. If we drive both aspects together, the New Deal will not only be green, it will also be smart.

Regulatory requirements for Artificial Intelligence, platforms and data protection therefore need to be geared toward the creation of European innovation spaces that can be used and formed by companies. After years of national egoism and economic protectionism, the Corona crisis has thrown global free trade into doubt. We need a Europe that frees itself from one-sided dependencies and becomes a global digital leader in its own right. This fundamental idea needs to underpin European policy in the coming years.”

Further positions can be found in Bitkom’s  plan for digital economic growth in Europe. The full version is available here.