03/08/18 The Austrian Presidency discussion paper on the governance of the Artificial Intelligence Strategy for Europe published on the 26th of July

It provides a useful summary of all the different workstreams related to AI. It ranges from funding to different Commission’s work plans that have an impact on AI, to the different activities the Competitiveness (COMPET) Council has been working on. There are several points within the text that include the integration of digital skills. Highlighted below is the context in which digital skills were specifically included. 

Artificial Intelligence in the next multiannual financial framework (MFF)

The Digital Europe Programme, the first pan-European programme dedicated to the digital transformation. Endowed with a proposed total budget of €9.2 billion. It will cover high performance computing, cybersecurity, advanced digital skills and interoperable solutions in areas of public interest.

The InvestEU Fund will provide access to finance with its four policy areas – sustainable infrastructure; research, innovation and digitisation; small and medium-sized businesses; and social investment and skills. 

Through Horizon Europe investments in AI-related research and innovation are expected to continue, including investments in High Performance Computing, Cybersecurity, digital capacities, interoperability and skills. 

General overview Competitiveness Council AI-related work tracks

The Competitiveness Council will operate under the Presidency’s goal of "Securing prosperity and competitiveness through digitalisation". The Presidency Council meetings will therefore aim to boost industrial competitiveness for the EU, leveraging opportunities that come with digitalisation. A new, holistic and strong European Industrial Policy Strategy shall take full advantage of developments such as digital transformation, the potential of AI and the need for skilled labour. The Presidency aims to deliver input related to the necessity of skills. 

A policy debate is planned at the COMPET Council on September 27th on the topic of "Rethinking European Industry: Artificial Intelligence and Robotics". This debate will build on the discussions at informal meeting of Competitiveness ministers addressing digitisation of industry with a special focus on AI, skills and investments.

The full text can be accessed here.