A report by strategic consultancy Public First warns that unless issues such as bridging digital skills gaps are scaled up, the EU risks missing its Digital Decade targets by 10 years.

In 2021, the EU adopted a 2030 vision that aims to transform the region with set goals, including ensuring that 80 per cent of the region’s population acquire basic digital skills, enabling 5G connectivity everywhere, and enabling all online public services to use cloud services, as well as 75 per cent of EU companies.

Despite the 2030 targets, the report estimates that only 61 per cent of the EU population will have basic digital skills by 2030. According to the report, the current pace means that it will take until 2040 to achieve all the outlined goals.

As the EU seeks to unlock $1.36 trillion in economic value by 2030, the report believes that accelerating progress could help generate $1.56 trillion in additional benefits by the end of 2030.

In order to speed up the pace of progress towards the EU target, the report outlines a number of proposals, including the increasing adoption of cloud, artificial intelligence and big data by EU companies. More government funding for research and development will also be important to achieve the goals.