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Ursula von der Leyen at the podium

The annual speech of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, focused this year also on skills. The President proposed to make 2023 the "European Year of Skills". This will mean many new opportunities to improve the digital skills of Europeans and further investments in education and upskilling.

On 14 September 2022, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, delivered her third State of the Union Address (SOTEU) before the Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Once again, President von der Leyen highlighted the shortage of skills in Europe, which must finally be overcome with a major effort to be implemented immediately. "We need much more focus in our investment on professional education and upskilling.", said von der Leyen, "but we also have to attract the right skills to our continent, skills that help companies and strengthen Europe's growth."

The President of the Commission also pointed out the importance of investing more in further education and higher education, and that it needs “careful knowledge of what staff are needed and how we can fill those vacancies". The new call under the DIGITAL Europe Programme, which will fund new Bachelor's and Master's degrees in key technology areas, addresses precisely this need.

The lack of staff is a challenge for Europe's companies. We must invest much more in training and further education. This is why I am proposing to make 2023 the European Year of Skills.

2023: the European Year of Skills

With a clear statement, President von der Leyen announced that next year will be the year of Skills in the EU. Many opportunities and initiatives will arise with a much stronger focus and investment on education, upskilling and digital skills for every citizen, in continuing the effort to achieve the goals set out in the Digital Decade: 80% of Europeans with basic digital skills and 20 million ICT specialists by 2030.


EC - Audiovisual Service
© European Union, 2023

News details

Digital technology / specialisation
Geographic scope - Country
Geographical sphere
EU institutional initiative