EBS 2018: Digitising EU industry must go hand in hand with educating workers

EU must channel the digital revolution’s potential to help industry and workers, writes Eva Maydell.

Eva Maydell | Photo credit: Natalie Hill

By Eva Maydell

Eva Maydell (BG, EPP) is the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee rapporteur on the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act)

24 May 2018

The digital revolution has had an enormous impact on our society, in many overwhelmingly positive ways. It has increased our global consciousness, provided unprecedented amounts of publicly available information, and often bolstered political, social and economic engagement and participation. 

Perhaps most importantly, it has contributed greatly to opening up access to high-quality education across the globe. There has never been a time in human history with so many and such widely-available opportunities for learning. 

As policymakers, it is our responsibility to channel this into developing the kind of skills that would help people find employment and prosper and push society as a whole forward.


Around 44 per cent of Europeans lack basic digital skills, opening up huge vulnerabilities in our data- and cyber-security. Digitising European industry must go hand in hand with educating workers and the wider society. 

I was the EPP group rapporteur for the New Skills Agenda for Europe and consider it a cornerstone initiative for the long-term competitiveness of the continent. It is up to us to make it work in practice.


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