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Poland Aims to Lead Digital Transformation During EU Presidency, Minister Says

POLITICSPoland Aims to Lead Digital Transformation During EU Presidency, Minister Says

“Cybersecurity and digital transformation should be a primary focus during Poland’s EU presidency, which will begin on January 1st 2025,” according to Krzysztof Gawkowski, the Minister of Digitisation. He indicates that Poland has much to catch up on in terms of digitisation, so in the upcoming period, it will concentrate heavily on achieving goals arising from the EU policy of the Digital Decade by 2030. The Minister announces that he wants Poland to become a leader of digital transformations in Europe.

“The European Union has established new rules for strategic thinking about technological development. Digital Decade 2030 serves as a foundation for how countries should develop. As Poland, we are at a point where we should accelerate, as there are several areas where we may feel lagging, but I feel that we are entering a new space. The Digital Decade will accelerate in terms of thinking about economic development, communication, and also cybersecurity. We have a defined direction in Poland, and I believe that Europe will strive towards these objectives at all costs,” says Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digitisation Krzysztof Gawkowski to Newseria Biznes agency.

In January 2023, the policy program “The Road to the Digital Decade” was implemented, outlining the growth directions of the European Union’s digital transformation. The document sets out four digital goals that the European Parliament, Council, Commission, and Member States must collaborate to achieve by 2030.

The first one focuses on digital skills; the EU wants at least 80% of the population to have basic digital abilities by the end of the decade. Furthermore, it aims to employ at least 20 million ICT specialists across the EU market, while simultaneously promoting women’s access to this field. The second goal is about secure and sustainable digital infrastructure, including the provision of gigabit network coverage for all users, doubling the EU’s current share in global semiconductor production to 20%, 10,000 climate-neutral edge nodes, and the first EU quantum accelerator computer by 2025.

The third goal relates to the digital transformation of EU businesses – by the end of the decade, 75% of them should use the cloud, AI or large datasets, and more than 90% of EU SMEs are to reach at least a basic level of digital technology use. As a part of this goal, the EU also wants to invest heavily in the development of scale-ups and increase access to finance for innovative businesses to double the number of so-called unicorns. The fourth goal of the Digital Decade is the digitisation of public administration, where the EU aims for 100% of public services to be available online by 2030.

“We set goals to create a perspective that the year 2030 will, to some extent, be a milestone. I’m confident that digital decade goals will be implemented by Europe. Perhaps something will be accomplished, maybe something won’t – it’s hard now, in 2024, to assess what will definitely succeed in six year’s time. My responsibility as the Minister of Digitisation is to make every effort for Poland to align with these objectives so that we are not at the tail end of Europe but become a leader of European transformations,” says the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digitisation.

The “Road to the Digital Decade by 2030” policy program also foresees the potential for multi-country projects, which involve at least three EU Member States. To reach digitalisation goals, the European Commission aims to speed up and facilitate the execution of large-scale projects that no single country could manage on its own. The EC has also prepared a preliminary list of such projects, encompassing potential areas for investment, such as low-power processors, 5G connectivity, large-scale computing, secure quantum communication, public administration, blockchain technology, digital innovation hubs, digital skills, and cybersecurity.

The autumn 2023 report on the state of the Digital Decade indicates that Poland’s indicators in areas such as digital skills or business digitisation are behind the EU average. For instance, in 2021, 43% of people aged 16-74 had at least basic digital skills, compared to 54% in the EU.

Minister of Digitisation Krzysztof Gawkowski points out that cybersecurity and digital transformation are set to be a high-priority during Poland’s EU presidency, starting on January 1st, 2025.

“Digitisation should be the focal point of the Polish presidency, as it relates to many aspects of citizens’ lives – from health, economy, energy, administration, military, infrastructure to education. Everything that services the citizen is known and popular within the sphere of digitisation. We still need to translate that into successes, and I believe that with all the ministries’ involvement, we will succeed during the presidency,” says the Deputy Minister.

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