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As the world becomes unprecedently digitalised, “digital sovereignty” is emerging as an increasingly prominent concept in the European Union. In her 2020 State of the Union speech, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that achieving Digital Sovereignty was a key EU priority. In this keynote address, Roberto Viola, Director-General of the Directorate General of Communication, Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) in the European Commission, discusses specific elements in the European Commission’s plans for digital sovereignty. In particular, Director-General Viola outlines the planned regulatory measures and the envisaged EU funding mechanisms that will help to promote a digitally sovereign EU.

This event is the first in a new IIEA project entitled Europe’s Digital Future, which will explore the topic of ‘digital sovereignty’ in Europe. As part of this project, which is supported by Google, a year-long programme of events and research will explore what this concept means, and what future it might herald for the EU and for small, open economies like Ireland.

About the Speaker:

Roberto Viola is Director General of DG CONNECT (Directorate General of Communication, Networks, Content and Technology) at the European Commission. He was also previously the Deputy Director-General of DG CONNECT, European Commission from 2012 to 2015.

Mr Viola was formerly Chairman of the European Radio Spectrum Policy group (RSPG), a member of the Board of the Body of European Telecom Regulators (BEREC) and Chairman of the European Regulatory Group (ERG). He was Secretary General in AGCOM, the Italian Communications Regulatory Authority, from 2005 to 2012.