K. Gawkowski: Poland wants to be a leader in digital changes

The future Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Affairs on the PiS government: Something was actually happening in the ministry

– Cybersecurity and digital transformation should be an important point of the Polish presidency of the EU, which will start on January 1, 2025 – says the Minister of Digital Affairs, Krzysztof Gawkowski. The minister announces that he wants Poland to become the leader of digital changes in Europe.

The European Union has prepared new rules for strategic thinking about technological development. The Digital Decade 2030 is a solid foundation for thinking about how countries should develop. As Poland, we are in a place where we should accelerate, because there are several areas where we may feel behind, but I have the feeling that we are entering a new space, that this Digital Decade will accelerate in the field of thinking about economic development, communication, and also cybersecurity. We have a set direction in Poland and I believe that Europe will pursue these goals at all costs – says Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Affairs Krzysztof Gawkowski.

In January 2023, the policy program “The Road to a Digital Decade” entered into force, setting the directions for the development of the digital transformation of the European Union. The document indicated, among others: four digital goals at EU level, the achievement of which by 2030 will require broad cooperation between the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission and the EU Member States.

The first one concerns digital competences – the EU wants at least 80% of them by the end of this decade. society had at least basic digital skills and at least 20 million ICT professionals were employed in the EU market, while promoting women's access to this field. The second goal concerns a safe and sustainable digital infrastructure – this includes, among others: covering all users with a gigabit network, doubling the EU's current share in global semiconductor production to 20%, 10,000 climate-neutral edge nodes and the first quantum-accelerated computer in the EU by 2025.

The third goal is the digital transformation of EU enterprises – 75% by the end of the decade. of them are to use the cloud, AI or big data, and over 90 percent EU SMEs are expected to achieve at least a basic level of use of digital technologies. As part of this goal, the EU also wants to invest heavily in the development of scale-ups and increase access to financing for innovative enterprises in order to double the number of the so-called unicorns. The fourth goal of the Digital Decade concerns the digitization of public administration – the EU wants 100 percent by 2030. public services were available online and all citizens had access to their online health records and electronic identification (eID) tools recognized across the Union, giving them full control over identity verification transactions and personal data shared.

The goals are set so that the 2030 perspective is also, to some extent, a stop. I believe that Europe will achieve the goals of the Digital Decade, maybe something will be successful, maybe something will not – it is difficult now, in 2024, to assess what will surely be achieved in six years. My task, as the Minister of Digital Affairs, is to do everything to ensure that Poland fits in with these goals, so that we are not at the tail end of Europe, but become the leader of European changes, so that digitalization gives citizens satisfaction, is safe, so that the protection of citizens is strengthened, and, in in terms of cyberspace, we could talk about taking care of the citizen and the entire state. We will achieve these goals and I believe that in 2030 Poland will proudly say that we have achieved them and we are waiting for more – says the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Affairs.

The “Road to the Digital Decade by 2030” policy program also provides for the possibility of multi-country projects, i.e. involving at least three EU Member States. To achieve digitalization goals, the European Commission is to accelerate and facilitate the implementation of large-scale projects that no country would be able to carry out on its own. The EC has also prepared a preliminary list of such projects, including potential investment areas, including: low-power processors, 5G connectivity, high-performance computing, secure quantum communications, public administration, blockchain technology, digital innovation hubs, digital skills and cybersecurity.

The report on the state of the Digital Decade, published in autumn 2023, indicates that Polish indicators, e.g. in the field of digital competences or business digitization, lag behind the EU average. For example, in 2021, 43 percent people aged 16-74 had at least basic digital skills, while in the EU it was 54%. 19% of people use cloud computing services. Polish enterprises (the EU average is 34%), and from electronic information exchange – 32%. (EU average – 38%). Poland also performs lower in terms of the availability of digital services online, scoring 60 points for digital public services for citizens (EU average 77) and 73 points for businesses (EU average 84). The EU target for both indicators is 100 by 2030. However, significant progress has been made in this area, as has been achieved in strengthening digital skills. At the same time, it was emphasized that Poland should intensify efforts to expand digital infrastructure, e.g. the 5G network.

We need to acquire digital competences, and this applies to both the older and the youngest generations. We also need to promote certain digital hygiene within these competences. We must feel that every citizen knows how to take care of his or her safety online, and that the state ensures this. On the other hand, the state also ensures cybersecurity and here we have achievements thanks to which we can honestly say that Poland is today one of the leaders of social changes for a safe Internet, a safe network and the management of modern change technologies. – says Krzysztof Gawkowski.

The Minister of Digital Affairs indicates that cybersecurity and digital transformation are to be an important point of the Polish presidency of the EU, which will start on January 1, 2025.

– Digitization should be the main topic of the Polish Presidency because it concerns many aspects of citizens' lives – from health, through the economy, energy, administration, army, infrastructure, to education. Everything that serves the citizen is known and liked in the area of ​​digitalization, but we still need to be able to translate it into successes, and I believe that with the participation of all ministries, this will be achieved in Poland during the presidency – says the deputy minister.

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