Digital Transformation Challenges in the EU

Author photo: Fabian Wanke and Constanze Schmitz
ByFabian Wanke and Constanze Schmitz
ARC Report Abstract

How important is digital transformation for industry in the EU and worldwide and what role can politics play? This was the focus of the speeches made by EU Commissioners Guenther Oettinger and Elżbieta Bieńkowska's at the European Commission Conference on "Digitizing European Industry" at the Hanover Fair on April 25, 2016.

Currently, the need to handle the refugee crisis in a joint European manner is shaking the political landscape in Europe. Also, the possible exit of Great Britain from the EU, the partly unsolved Greek financial crisis, and the complicated relationships with Russia and Turkey enter into the political picture. However, rather than focusing on these political issues, Oettinger concentrated on economic challenges in his speech.

From an economic point of view, the European Commission is concerned that the European member states could fall behind countries like the US, China, and South Korea in terms of digital transformation. In his speech, Guenther Oettinger highlighted the main challenges and gave advice on how to handle those challenges. In her speech, Elżbieta Bieńkowska provided more details about the actions the European Commission will take to support industry. Both commissioners stressed the importance of a single market and the need for cross-border industrial and political cooperation.

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Keywords: Digital Transformation, Hanover Fair, European Commission, ARC Advisory Group.

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