Europe’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy: A Chance for Sustainable Digital Transformation

  • DIGITAL SME’s newest position paper suggests a European focus on six key areas as a response to the crisis: liquidity support, digital skills, investment, cybersecurity & standards, digital sovereignty, and taxation.

  • Rather than turning SMEs into minimally-skilled end-users of ICT solutions, this crisis can be the start of a comprehensive and sustainable digital transformation process building on digital SME ecosystems—if Europe takes decisive action.

Brussels, 7 May 2020 (DIGITAL SME). The digitalisation of Europe’s economy started long before COVID-19, but the virus brutally accelerates the process. Companies formerly hesitant to digitalise their business have no other choice but to do it now if they want to stay operational. Although luckily there are many viable digital tools developed by innovative European SMEs to facilitate this digital transformation, EU institutions must play their part in supporting SMEs’ recovery from the devastating crisis.

In a new position paper, DIGITAL SME outlines six key areas for a successful COVID-19 recovery: liquidity support, digital skills, investment, cybersecurity & standards, digital sovereignty, and taxation.
The recommendations for European and national authorities range from short-term actions like immediate liquidity support for SMEs to mid- and long-term suggestions involving a massive scaling-up of digital skills training for Europe’s workforce.

“The bottom line: the current COVID-19 crisis has jump-started a wave of digitalisation which can go two ways for Europe”, remarked DIGITAL SME President Dr Oliver Grün upon the publication of the new position paper. “Either European policymakers act now and facilitate the sustainable, integrated digital transformation of its economy, or we go down the dangerous path of turning non-digital enterprises into minimally skilled, dependent end-users of ICT products and services.”

Read the full position paper here.