Twelve EU Member States Call for a Common Definition and Indicators around Digital Literacy and e-Skills
20 December 2011
Under the patronage of European Commission Vice-President, Neelie Kroes, ECDL Foundation brought together key actors from the European Commission (EC), the European Parliament, 12 national governments, and other stakeholders to discuss the progress of, and priorities in, delivering the ‘Digital Literacy, Skills and e-Inclusion’ action areas of the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE).
During a Round Table event, which was hosted by Mr. Seán Kelly, Member of the European Parliament (EPP), representatives from European Member States discussed the realities of delivering the DAE, and highlighted the need for a common European definition and indicators for digital literacy. This event provided an ideal forum for national representatives to provide feedback to the Commission and other EU policy shapers on the reality of challenges that face the delivery of the DAE, in a national context.
In her keynote address to the Round Table, Vice-President Kroes underlined the need for transformation to take place to put digital empowerment at the heart of the political agenda. Member State representatives echoed this sentiment, maintaining that digital literacy needs to be a traversal element embedded in all national policies, from education to infrastructure, as it forms the bedrock of the DAE. They stressed the need for common standard definitions and indicators around digital literacy in Europe. Additionally, Vice-President Kroes emphasised that: “... digital literacy is an issue of fairness and access to opportunity, a socio-economic issue...”, adding that the voices of stakeholders at the European Round Table would be heard. Ms. Kroes also noted and commended ECDL Foundation’s commitment to the DAE in engaging with 5 million people to acquire digital skills and competence.
Mr. Seán Kelly, MEP, stressed the importance of digital skills for jobs and growth: “…in the future, 18 million jobs in Europe will depend on Europeans having digital skills; this is about breaking down barriers with the millions of people who currently lack the necessary skills to be economically included”.
Member State representatives are tasked with developing long-term digital literacy policies, but raised several key elements that would expedite progress, including the need to highlight the important role that e-Skills have in promoting economic recovery, and the need for a more coordinated approach to the development of national and European policy.
According to ECDL Foundation CEO, Mr. Damien O’Sullivan, “Europe’s future is digital, and the development of the digital future lies very much in the hands of the Member State representatives that we brought together for the Round Table. At ECDL Foundation, we have been driving this issue for over a decade now; we work through our national partners, with governments at the national level, and policy makers in Brussels. We’re committed to supporting governments to help build digital literacy policies, and are facilitating a conduit for dialogue to build on the delivery of the Digital Agenda for Europe for the years to come”.
Member State representatives and EU policy shapers discuss the realities of delivering the Digital Agenda for Europe.