The Commission proposes a Digital Compass for the EU's digital decade built around four cardinal points i) government, ii) skills, iii) infrastructure iv) businesses. For rural areas, the EU Long Term Vision (LTVRA) aims at rural areas ‘fully benefiting from digital innovation with equal access to emerging technologies, widespread digital literacy and opportunities to acquire more advanced skills’ (shared goals). Moreover, the vision aims to enable more ‘connected rural areas’ by 2040 through investments in infrastructure, technology development and skills enhancement activities grouped under the flagship ‘Rural digital futures’.
Digital skills development is also one of the strategic priorities of the Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027, adopted in September 2020, which set the Commission’s long-term approach to digital transformation of education and training. As part of the 2023 European Year of Skills, the Commission will encourage a much stronger focus on opportunities and initiatives related to upskilling, reskilling and digital skills for all. This follows its structured dialogue with Member States on digital education in 2022, which will lead to the adoption of recommendations on the provision of digital skills and enabling factors for digital education in spring. These efforts aim to contribute to achieving the Digital Decade targets – 80% of Europeans with basic digital skills and 20 million information and communications technology (ICT) specialists by 2030.
- Enabling exchanges and learning from local experiences and initiatives that boost digital skills development of, for instance, youth, elderly or businesses in rural areas;
- Building the capacity of participants to promote digital skills through anticipating, planning and delivering effective high-quality projects responding to the rural needs;
- Encouraging and mobilising rural pact community members to make a commitment to the pact and/or to undertake actions linked with digital skills in their specific context.
The webinar is targeted at project implementers and developers of digital skills initiatives in rural areas targeting various stakeholder groups (youth, elderly and businesses) and potential project holders including local, regional and national private and public actors.