S&D MEPs today called on the European Commission to include proposals on digital participation, inclusion, social dialogue, skills and education in upcoming Commission proposals. The call came during a day-long seminar with S&D MEPS, the European Commissioner for Health Vytenis Andriukaitis and experts from academia, national governments, civil society, Commission and industry on creating a progressive digital union.
Josef Weidenholzer, S&D Vice President and spokesperson for digital affairs, said:
"We need to ensure that nobody is left behind in the digital revolution. We need investment in infrastructure to ensure that every European has access to affordable high-speed internet. We need to invest in education, so that all Europeans have the skills needed in the new digital workforce. We need experts from policy, academia and industry to come together to find new ways to shape the digital revolution in a positive and progressive way. Today we are calling on the European Commission to include proposals on digital participation, inclusion, social dialogue, skills and education in upcoming proposals."
S&D Vice-President, Marju Lauristin, added:
"In the near future, 90% of jobs will require some level of digital literacy. Currently almost half of EU citizens lack even these basic skills. This is further compounded by huge inequalities between different countries, social groups and generations. If we are to address this growing digital chasm between the digital haves and have nots then we need significant investment in education and infrastructure.
"This investment must come as part of a holistic approach to the digital union focusing on jobs and education as well as tackling social and political challenges. If we fail to do this then the digital revolution threatens to increase not decrease inequalities in our societies."