“The European way to data economy. Taking stock and looking ahead”. This is the title of the VideoTalk held on 21 October by the Institute for Competitiveness, with guest speaker Khalil Rouhana, Deputy Director General at DG CNECT, European Commission.
The VideoTalk was opened with a speech by I-Com President Stefano da Empoli. The main speaker, Khalil Rouhana, then took the floor. There followed an open debate moderated by Mattia Ceracchi, I-Com Head of EU Affairs, before Mr Rouhana’s closing remarks.
Bringing together EU and national institution representatives, companies, research and business organisations, trade and consumer associations and other relevant stakeholders, the event offered a forum to take stock of the European strategy for data, published last February by the Commission as a part of its digital package with the aim to create a «single market for data that will boost Europe’s global competitiveness and data sovereignty». A particular focus was placed on the challenge of ensuring a European leadership on industrial data, recently reaffirmed by Ursula von der Leyen’s SOTEU, also with the proposal of building a European cloud based on Gaia-X initiative as part of NextGenerationEU. The event also offered the occasion for a stakeholder discussion in view of future data initiatives, that will include a legislative framework on the common European data spaces (expected by the end of this year) and a legislative proposal for a Data Act (announced for 2021).
What actions should be taken in order to prevent or at least minimise the data skills gap between demand and supply? Is there room for “European data champions” and how should it be pursued? How can data sharing between different sectoral players be effectively supported, according to a co-opetition principle? How could European data spaces be achieved, overcoming fragmentation between and within Member States? What would be a realistic time horizon and which sectors should be given a priority? What impact would the debate on technological sovereignty have on cloud market development in Europe? These and other questions emerged from the discussion.