Europe's Digital Decade and Autonomy
The study ‘Europe’s Digital Decade and Autonomy’ intends to deliver an independent expert opinion and an assessment of the 2030 targets set by the Digital Compass and the overall Commission’s Digital Strategy. The document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE).
Key elements regarding digital skills include the opinion that the Digital Decade Compass targets for 2030 are over ambitious, namely the 80% of population with basic digital skills, unless stronger initiatives are implemented. In addition, because of the COVID-19 crisis, there is also a risk that the gap between men and women employed as ICT specialists will widen in the coming years.
Regarding the digital transformation of businesses, the target for SMEs with a basic level of digital intensity is ambitious but could have a large impact considering that the European economy is dominated by SMEs. The report mentions that there is still a large gap of digital intensity between SMEs and large enterprises, quoting figures from 2019 when only 20% of enterprises provided training in digital skills to personnel, 68% of which were large enterprises and only 15% SMEs.
The study goes on to discuss also the importance of digital skills for citizens to be able to engage in society and with institutions, and the skills necessary to access and succeed in the job market, and it highlights necessary measures to ensure that all digital skills goals are reached in the light of the measures currently implemented.