Digitale, I-Com alla guida di PromethEUs, il nuovo network di think tank del Sud-Europa

Ha debuttato a Bruxelles il nuovo network di think tank indipendenti del Sud-Europa dedicato ai temi del digitale. Si chiama PromethEUs ed è costituito da quattro centri di ricerca sud-europei: oltre all’Istituto per la Competitività (I-Com) – che lo coordina – ne fanno parte il Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics – EsadeGeo (Spagna), IOBE – Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (Grecia) e la Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos (Portogallo).

Il network si propone di contribuire in modo costruttivo all’attuale dibattito politico europeo sulla rivoluzione digitale, fornendo il punto di vista dell’Europa meridionale. Inoltre, mira a prendere parte al dibattito sulla nuova agenda digitale delle istituzioni europee, con un’attenzione particolare alla digitalizzazione delle piccole e medie imprese e alle competenze digitali di cittadini e lavoratori europei.

La prima Digital Conference dal titolo “A new framework for Europe’s digital rules. Leading the path towards AI and digital services revolution” si è svolta lo scorso 13 ottobre e ha visto la partecipazione di 20 relatori, tra cui alcuni dei principali attori politici a livello europeo, più di 100 stakeholders provenienti da Bruxelles e dalle capitali nazionali, organizzazioni di ricerca e imprenditoriali e associazioni di categoria e di consumatori.

In particolare, hanno preso parte all’iniziativa il direttore generale della DG CNECT della Commissione europea, Roberto Viola, con la relazione iniziale sul tema “Setting European Rules for the Global Digital Era” e gli eurodeputati Brando Benifei (membro della commissione speciale sull’intelligenza artificiale), Eva Kaili (presidente del panel per il futuro della scienza e della tecnologia – STOA) e Alex Agius Saliba (relatore sul Digital Services Act). Il sottosegretario al ministero dello Sviluppo economico, Mirella Liuzzi, ha invece inviato un suo messaggio di analisi:

Dear all,
I would like to thank PromethEUs for this initiative and for the invitation to speak today. I greatly regret that cannot participate at this interesting webinar.
Europe’s picture on digital ecosystem is at a turning point and this open discussion around both topics at the center of today’s debate: Artificial Intelligence and the Digital Services Act, proves it.
I will briefly talk from a large perspective about these two topics but – first of all – I would like to underline how digital is becoming a huge opportunity for Europe. As policy makers we have to unleash its potential even more. From the early stage of their settlement, the new EU Commission had made clear that Digital is at the top of the agenda and the Covid has revealed even more this topic’s centrality and strategic importance.
A digital single market is completely lacking in Europe and the issues are mostly country- related like, for instance, the difficulties of accessing funds to create European excellences. This is the reason why it is strategically important for Europe to work on a community regulation of the sector, aiming at rebalancing the forces in the field.
In this sense, the Digital Services Act – DSA – is the first step on a path towards the construction of a new regulatory environment that favors the industrial development of the digital world. The Italian Ministry of Economic Development is following this theme very carefully to contribute the modernization of the EU legislative digital ecosystem framework that will certainly have a strong impact on the EU digital economy in the near future.
DSA will reinforce the single market for digital services and help provide businesses of all sizes with greater legal clarity and a more level playing field. Protecting European citizens and their rights, not least the right to freedom of expression, will be central to the Commission’s efforts.
As stated in your remarks about the DSA package, the regulatory framework should guarantee a trustful level playing field, without overbearing platforms hindering new entrants and SMEs from entering their marketplaces.
Also, for Artificial Intelligence, the mission is setting a framework for trustworthy technology, therefore it is important to construct a network of shared principles, rules and institutions among EU countries.
In this context, as highlighted in the final document of our National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence – developed by the Ministry of Economic Development on the basis of the proposals defined by the group of experts selected by the Ministry – the Italian way to AI is to conduct the ecosystem towards a more desirable combination of competition and cooperation in order to boost the development and deployment of AI in a proper way.
It is indeed crucial for Europe, after all, to create the basis for a valid, trustworthy and transparent AI capable of generating trust in users; thus, can be achieved by defining a strategy for a human centered AI. Furthermore – as remarked in your background document on the AI Paper – I agree on the fact that EU objectives to increase R&D and productive excellence should not jeopardize the possibility for EU citizens and companies to have access to the best available AI technologies at a competitive price.
The lawmaker faced with a moving frontier, which is constantly going forward. It should be noted that the digital ecosystem is unbalanced. In recent years, a significant reduction in competitive dynamics has meant that, although technological development has remained strong and constant, the added value transferred to end consumers by major Internet players has significantly reduced.
In order promote a broad incentives plans, it is crucial the adoption of a governance model that goes beyond “informal” trust-based arrangements, while at the same time avoiding excessively complex frameworks that lead to the creation of new, often useless, institutions and “global oversight bodies”.
EU Member States will continue to deploy innovation and the competitiveness of businesses even more over the next years in order to stand at the forefront in the digital transformation of production processes.
I consider crucial, for a conscious and farsighted progress of our economies, to always ensure – at the same time – employment and the social and environmental protection.

Mirella Liuzzi
Sottosegretario allo Sviluppo economico

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