Digitalisation of SMEs is a key strategic priority for the European Commission
In its new SME strategy, released on 10 March 2020, the European Commission has put a strong emphasis on empowering SMEs to better grasp the opportunities offered by new digital technologies.
The digitalisation of SMEs will be supported by a network of 240 Digital Innovation Hubs, in each region of Europe. These hubs will offer opportunities for SMEs to test new technologies, access financing advice and market intelligence as well as networking opportunities.
The Commission will focus on developing digital skills through Digital Crash Courses for SME employees to learn about AI, cybersecurity or blockchain.
EC consults on Retail payments strategy for the EU
Together with digital finance strategy, the Commission also launched a consultation on retail payments on 3 April. The consultation is focused on four key objectives:
- Fast, convenient, safe, affordable and transparent payment instruments;
- An innovative, competitive, and contestable European retail payments market;
- Access to safe, efficient and interoperable retail payments systems;
- Improved cross-border payments
EC publishes EU strategy on artificial intelligence
On 19 February, the EC has published the EU strategy on Artificial Intelligence (AI). For the Commission, building trust in AI is essential for its successful uptake.
The new regulatory framework will follow a risk-based approach. Clear rules will apply in high-risk AI systems without disproportionally burdening less risky ones. For high-risk cases, AI systems should be transparent, traceable and guarantee human oversight. Authorities should be able to test and certify the data used by algorithms.
The EC emphasises that AI should be human-centric, ethical, sustainable, respecting fundamental rights and values. Independent assessment of AI-systems will facilitate trust in this technology.
EC puts forward a European strategy for data
Along with EU strategy on Artificial Intelligence, the EC has also published the European data strategy. The ambition is to enable the EU to become the most attractive, secure and data-agile economy.
A number of policy measures are put forward to achieve this goal. Common European rules and efficient enforcement mechanisms should ensure that:
- data can flow within the EU and across sectors;
- European rules and values, in particular personal data protection, consumer protection legislation and competition law, are fully respected;
- the rules for access to and use of data are fair, practical and clear, and there are clear and trustworthy data governance mechanisms in place; there is an open, but assertive approach to international data flows, based on European values.
EU Agency for Cybersecurity analyses standards in areas relevant to the potential EU candidate cybersecurity certification schemes
The ENISA report explored four areas where standards and policies can evolve to become potential candidates for EU cybersecurity certification schemes.
The report analysed standards, identified gaps and proposed recommendations to address the gaps for the standards to form the basis of future candidate EU cybersecurity certification schemes.
The report found that for a potential EU candidate scheme to be successful, the levels of assurance should reflect the market needs. Standards include technical rules that can provide the guiding principles for assurance levels in all four areas.
ENISA issues recommendations for standardisation in support of the cybersecurity certification
In this paper, ENISA presents the value of the cybersecurity standardisation for certification, the roles and responsibilities of Standards Developing Organisations and discusses various ways how standardisation can support efficiently the process of certification schemes.
It proposes the qualification system, which can be used to define more precisely the requirements associated to the different assurance levels mentioned in the article 52 of the Cybersecurity Act. “Assurance levels of European cybersecurity certification schemes”.