Presentation by Member of the European Parliament Eva A. Kaili, Chair, Panel for the Future of Science and Technology, European Parliament, Belgium

Presentation by Dr Gianluca Misuraca, Senior Scientist, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Spain

The Procivis Think Tank meeting of 3 September 2020 took place against the backdrop of a corona flare up and new travel restrictions in Europe. Accordingly, at short notice we switched to our first-ever webinar format.

Our first speaker, MEP Eva Kaili, shared her views against the background of the announcement of the EU’s €750 billion “Next Generation” pandemic recovery plan in addition to its new long-term budget of €1,100 billion. She highlighted the EU’s priorities – “green and digital” and security in North Africa/Middle East.

How did the European parliament operate during the lockdown?

Eva Kaili explained that ballots were submitted via email. This illustrates how one always makes do with the technology that one has during an emergency. Projects were under way to make the system more resilient. During the Q&A with Eva Kaili it was also helpful to be reminded again that the EU only has the competences that were conferred to it by member states in treaties.

Shaping Digital Europe 2040

Gianluca Misuraca presented his research on “Shaping Digital Europe 2040: Artificial intelligence & public sector innovation in a data-driven society”. It was interesting to see that the EU is funding such long-term research. Looking ahead to 2040, he presented scenarios based on a sliding scale of digital participation by citizens vs. the degree to which this participation was regulated.  The digital future might not be knowable, but we can imagine its contours, challenges and opportunities.

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