Written by 9:12 pm Europe Economy

Declaration on digital rights and principles: EU values and citizens at the centre of digital transformation

Interinstitutional declaration on digital rights and principles for the digital decade: Member States, Parliament and Commission concluded the negotiations on EU values in the digital world.

Member States, the European parliament, and the Commission negotiated the European declaration on digital rights and principles for the digital decade. The declaration aims to promote European values within the digital transformation, putting people at the centre, with digital technology benefiting all individuals, businesses, and society as a whole.


Ivan Bartoš, Czech Deputy Prime Minister for Digitalisation and Minister for Regional Development

This declaration sets out a European way forward for the digital transformation of our societies and economies. Promoting and protecting our values in the digital environment is essential, be it privacy, individual control over data, equal access to services and education, fair and just working conditions, engagement in public space or freedom of choice. I also hope the declaration will set up an international benchmark and inspire other countries and organisations to follow our example.

Ivan Bartoš, Czech Deputy Prime Minister for Digitalisation and Minister for Regional Development

The EU way for the digital transformation of our societies and economy encompasses in particular digital sovereignty in an open manner, respect of fundamental rights, rule of law and democracy, inclusion, accessibility, equality, sustainability and respect of everyone’s rights and aspirations.

The text recalls all pertinent rights in the context of the digital transformation and should serve as a reference point for businesses and other relevant actors when developing and deploying new technologies. The declaration should also guide policy makers when reflecting on their vision of the digital transformation: putting people at the centre of digital transformation; supporting solidarity and inclusion, ensuring connectivity, digital education, training and skills, as well as access to digital services online. The declaration emphasises the importance of freedom of choice in interactions with algorithms and artificial intelligence systems and a fair digital environment. It also appeals to increase safety and security in the digital environment, in particular for children and young. The member states, the Parliament and the Commission also commit themselves to support development and use of sustainable technologies.

Next steps

Today’s outcome of negotiations is now subject to approval by the Council, the European Parliament, and the Commission. On the Council’s side, the Czech presidency intends to submit the agreement to the Member States’ representatives (COREPER) as soon as possible allowing its signature by the three co-signing institutions during the December European Council.

Background

The Commission’s communication “Digital compass 2030: a European way forward for the digital decade” of 9 March 2021 presented the vision for a digitally transformed Europe by 2030 in line with European values. The EU’s ambition is to be digitally sovereign in an open and interconnected world embracing empowered citizens and innovative businesses in a human-centred, inclusive, prosperous, and sustainable digital society.

In their statement of 25 March 2021, the members of the European Council underlined the importance of digital transformation for EU’s growth, prosperity, security, and competitiveness, as well as for the well-being of our societies. It identified the communication on the digital compass as an important step towards mapping Europe’s digital development for the next decade. It invited the Commission to use all available instruments in the field of industrial, trade and competition policies. In light of these ambitions and challenges, the Commission proposed on 26 January 2022 a European declaration on digital rights and principles for the digital decade, as a follow-up to its communication of 9 March 2021.

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