On 10 April, the European Commission organised the second Digital Day in Brussels to take stock of the progress of the Digital Single Market, present new initiatives and reinforce cooperation to ensure the developments of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain or eHealth.
The Commission kick started the discussions on Artificial Intelligence in view of the publication of its Communication on 25 April. Commissioner Mariya Gabriel presented the three pillars of the upcoming Communication – European AI’s industrial capacity, socio-economic challenges and legal and ethical questions – as well as new European initiatives such as the creation of a European collaborative platform on AI to facilitate the exchange and uptake of new technologies. Panelists discussed the main opportunities and challenges for the development of AI, highlighting particularly the question of digital skills, access to data and the need to ensure the responsible use of AI.
The Digital Day continued with a discussion between representative of EU Member States to lay down the foundation for a European Partnership in blockchain technology. The European Commission already started to work on the issue through its Fintech Action plan, the creation of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum in February 2018 and the pledge to invest some €300 million in projects supporting the use of blockchain. In addition, 22 European countries signed today a Declaration on the establishment of a European Blockchain Partnership to foster the exchange of expertise on technical and regulatory issues.
It is in the Commission’s and the Member States’ opinion that cooperation, sufficient funding and responsible regulatory framework can ensure that Europe does not fall behind in the global race for innovation.