On 23 September, the ALDE Party co-hosted a virtual Liberal Breakfast with Microsoft to discuss digital skilling and Europe's digital transition. The panel included Caser Klynge, Microsoft’s Vice-President of European Government Affairs; ALDE Party Vice-President and European Parliament Vice-President Ditá Charanzová MEP and Abir Al-Sahlani MEP. The event was moderated by tech policy expert Jennifer Baker.
In her opening remarks Al-Sahlani mentioned the importance of ensuring that all EU member states will be well equipped to deal with the digital transition that the EU is heavily focusing on and investing in. Building on what ‘digital’ means in the European context, Charanzová noted: “Just because you are born in the digital age does not necessarily mean that you have the digital competences and digital skills. […] We have to share best practices with one another and invest more in the digital transformation.”
In his remarks, Klynge addressed the future of education and the role that digital will play in this field in the coming years. “We are not looking to replace traditional education, but as we have seen with the unprecedented situation of COVID-19 and the inequalities it showed we have a fundamental responsibility as a big technology company to chip in and try and recover the economy by helping those who lost their jobs due to lockdowns get back into the workforce,” Klynge said.
The event concluded with the panellists discussing what we can learn about the needs of European citizens concerning the digital age post-lockdown. While not every job in the future will be transitioned online, the panellists mentioned the importance of having the capacity to adjust working methods so that no one is left behind.
In case you missed the event, you can watch a recording here or below