“War will not slow down digitization” – ICT News

The war in Ukraine could further accelerate the digitalization of Europe. European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager thinks so. She does not directly see the need to postpone projects due to the current crisis.

According to EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, the war in Ukraine will not slow down the EU’s digitalization plans, but vice versa. The quick reaction of organizations and citizens to help refugees seems to give him hope. “What we are seeing in this crisis is a whole new kind of European cohesion at a level never seen before. We are negotiating on defense, cybersecurity and other topics that we previously kept aloof from,” says Vestager. She made these remarks to him during a debate organized in Brussels by Vodafone and the news site Politico.

A comparison is also made with the fight against the COVID pandemic at the EU level. “In this case, we took a number of actions together and finally became stronger, for example, through the creation of HERA (European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, a body dedicated to improving communication between health services outside of Europe, note editor) which should better prepare us in case this happens again in the future,” she adds.

Digitization

Vestager also believes that digitalization will not be sidelined by the current crisis. The European Commission does see digitalization as an important means of combating global warming. “Digitalization will continue because CO2 doesn’t care about war,” says Vestager. “Now we have to do everything at the same time. The energy crisis makes the transition to cleaner forms of energy even more important. We need to accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources to break free from dependence on Russian gas. We also need to become more independent in cybersecurity. Now we need to speed up because now is the right time to do it.”

Vestager does not want to disclose whether there will be other EU initiatives to help refugees, such as free roaming zones so they can call their countries. “This is something that cannot be organized in a few days,” she says, referring to companies like hosting provider Vodafone, which offer tens of thousands of free SIM cards and distribute them to refugees. “It’s great to see how carriers have helped people so they can stay in touch with their loved ones as if they had free roaming. This paves the way for the next phase because, even if the Commission moves very quickly, it will never be able to run as fast as companies have in recent weeks.”

According to EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, the war in Ukraine will not slow down the EU’s digitalization plans, but vice versa. The quick reaction of organizations and citizens to help refugees seems to give him hope. “What we are seeing in this crisis is a whole new kind of European cohesion at a level never seen before. We are negotiating on defense, cybersecurity and other topics that we previously kept aloof from,” says Vestager. She made these remarks during a debate organized by Vodafone and Politico news site in Brussels, and also drew comparisons to the fight against the COVID pandemic at the EU level. “In this case, we took a number of actions together and finally became stronger, for example, through the creation of HERA (European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, a body dedicated to improving communication between health services outside of Europe, note editor.), which should better prepare us in case this happens again in the future,” she adds. The European Commission does see digitalization as an important means of combating global warming. “Digitalization will continue because CO2 doesn’t care about war,” says Vestager. “Now we have to do everything at the same time. The energy crisis makes the transition to cleaner forms of energy even more important. We need to accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources to break free from dependence on Russian gas. We also need to become more independent in cybersecurity. It’s time to pick up the pace.” Vestager does not want to reveal whether there will be more EU initiatives to help refugees, such as free movement zones so they can call their country. “It’s something you can’t organize in a few days,” she says, referring to companies like hosting provider Vodafone, which offer tens of thousands of free SIM cards and distribute them to refugees. “It’s great to see how carriers have helped people so they can stay in touch with their loved ones as if they had free roaming. This paves the way for the next phase because, even if the Commission moves very quickly, it will never be able to run as fast as companies have in recent weeks.”

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