How the European Digital Squads were launched in Tallinn 🚀

On Friday, September 29, European heads of State and Government gathered in Estonia to discuss the future of innovation across the continent at the Tallinn Digital Summit. Five independent organizations from 4 countries chose that specific occasion to launch the Digital Squads, a transnational initiative designed to improve the drafting process of a digital strategy at the European level.

As Marie Ekeland of the French Digital Council put it:

The European Commission has set an ambitious goal with the Digital Single Market, but we need to go beyond and think up the next move. This is only possible if you find short cuts between European institutions and local innovators, whose knowledge about the actual state of the art of technology and future opportunities for Europe is precious

The French Institute in Estonia organized the kick-off event in collaboration with the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs, the French Digital Council and the Foresight Center of the Estonian Parliament.

Find the press release below:

Welcoming words were pronounced at the Ministry of Economic Affairs by Urve Palo, Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, along with Mounir Mahjoubi, French Secretary of State for Digital Affairs.

As they already mentioned in the press release, both ministers welcomed the initiative that they see as close to the priorities of the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU (Urve Palo) and useful to help Europe face all challenges brought about by digital (Mounir Mahjoubi).

Squad members then had their first ever workshops, where they agreed to first tackle the issue of institutional and regulatory framework adapted to the platform economy, in an agenda that will lead to scenarios and policy recommendations by early 2018.

But why set up these Digital Squads in the first place? This was implicitly the topic of a debate held after the workshops, entitled Is Europe connected enough with its digital ecosystems to deal with the future?

Spoiler: all panelists agreed that it isn’t. Yet. Hence the need to smoothen the relations between ecosystem players and policy makers in order to improve the making of a common digital strategy. That’s where the Squads come into play.

Watch the wrap-up of the morning:

Finally, the Squads were greeted by Emmanuel Macron, ahead of his arrival to the Tallinn Digital Summit. The French President came to hear about the ongoing works, support the initiative, and promised to host one of their next working sessions in Paris.

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