EU pushes to improve digital competency in member states

Brussels    – The European Commission launched a set of initiatives on Wednesday to help people, institutions and schools to master digital skills and deal with online risks such as fraud, fake news and radicalization.
The commission published details of three new initiatives intended to help EU citizens adapt to the digital age, keep up lifelong learning and become more familiar with European values.

Acquire digital skills

“The digital skills gap is real,” EU Digital Economy Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said. “While already 90 per cent of future jobs require some level of digital literacy, 44 per cent of Europeans lack basic digital skills.”

Education is primarily a member state competence, but the commission outlined areas in which it could provide support.
Among other things, it proposed measures to boost digital skills, such as helping schools get high-speed internet connections, and initiatives encouraging boys and girls to learn how to code.

Towards More Secure Internet

The EU’s executive also stressed the need to understand online risks such as data theft, online safety, disturbing content and fake news.
“Strengthening children and young people’s critical thinking and media literacy is crucial,” the commission wrote.
The commission advised member states to better educate children about the EU and its basic values, in response to challenges such as rising populism, xenophobia, discrimination and radicalization.
It also said it would seek to boost funding for the Erasmus programme promoting school exchanges across the EU.