Digital Assembly 2019: new actions on quantum, EU-Africa taskforce report and digital start-ups

Today and tomorrow, the 8th edition of the Digital Assembly is taking place in Bucharest, Romania. The event, co-organised by the Commission and the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, will bring together representatives of EU Member States with stakeholders from industry, academia and civil society.

Discussions will focus on what is needed to accelerate the digital transformation and ensure that the EU remains globally competitive. Three key initiatives will be featured: first, a joint declaration by several Member States to work together to build a quantum communication infrastructure (QCI); second, the adoption of the final report by the European Union – African Union Digital Economy Task Force with policy recommendations and concrete actions to strengthen cooperation on digital issues between the two continents; and, third, a new investment facility to scale up digital start-ups in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe.  

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: “Digitalisation is a key driver of progress not only in Europe, but also in Africa. That is why, as part of the Africa-Europe Alliance, we are working with partners across both continents to develop policies that will best enable us to harness the power of technology to boost investment, create jobs and contribute to sustainable development. Today we are recommending concrete policies and actions to enhance the future digital cooperation of Africa and Europe.”

Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel, added: “Over the past few years we have worked tirelessly to advance the Digital Single Market which brings tangible achievements for Europe's citizens and businesses. We have demonstrated that opting for an EU approach is the only way to face, together, evolving challenges and succeed the digital transformation. The Digital Assembly is our key event where we will discuss future digital opportunities and political priorities and renew our commitments based on our common values.”

More specifically, the following key initiatives will be highlighted during the Digital Assembly 2019:

  • A new ultra-secure quantum communication network: several EU countries will declare their commitment to work together in order to build a quantum communication infrastructure (QCI) that will enable information and data to be transmitted and stored in a fully secure manner as well as integrate quantum technologies and systems into conventional communication infrastructures. As a result it will boost Europe's capabilities in cybersecurity, quantum technologies and industrial competitiveness, keeping pace with its global competitors. For more information about the Declaration see here at 17:45 CEST today.
  • Adoption of the report on the digital economy partnership for Africa-Europe: the European Union – African Union Digital Economy Task Force (DETF) will adopt its report with policy recommendations and concrete actions to strengthen cooperation on digital issues between the two continents. The DETF is one of the task forces established as part of the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobslaunched by President Juncker in his 2018 State of the Union Address. For more information about the report see here at 14:00 CEST today.
  • New investment facility to scale up digital start-ups in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe:the European Commission together with the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the World Bank and the International Financial Corporation will launch the Digital Innovation and Scale-up Initiative (DISI). This will be the first regional investment facility that specifically targets digital innovations and the scale-up of digital start-ups in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe. For more information about the Digital Innovation and Scale-up Initiative see here at 09:00 CEST tomorrow.