The European Commission on Wednesday unveiled a strategy aimed at making Europe an important stakeholder on the digital front and help it to catch up with the United States and China.
In the strategy, the Commission outlined its vision of a society based on digital solutions which create new possibilitie for companies and encourage development of a reliable technology in order to promote open and democratic society and dynamic and sustainable economy. The digital sector is a key factor in the fight against climate change and in the green transition.
While announcing the strategy, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen noted how the strategy draws from Europe's long history of technological success and innovation, strong industry, and appreciation of individual rights and shared values. She described it as "connecting all these dots and putting it into a concept."
"We want the digital transformation to power our economy, and we want to find European solutions in the digital age," said von der Leyen during a press conference in Brussels.
Along with the wider strategy, the EU on Wednesday also published two white papers on artificial intelligence data.
The white papers are now open for consultation until mid-May, and later this year the Commission will present the Digital Services Act and a European Democracy Action Plan to other EU institutions.
The white papers also emphasise the importance of creating trust in AI systems by identifying high-risk AI (in health or policing, for example) and installing adequate checks and balances, while not burdening systems that don't pose the same risk.
Von der Leyen said she wanted to make sure that the European approach to AI was "responsible" and "human-centric".
"We will be particularly careful with sectors with essential human interests and rights are at stake," she said.