The European Commission is investing eight billion euros in the next generation of supercomputers. This is what the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said during the ‘EU throne speech’.
Speaking of the $ 8 billion investment for the next generation of supercomputers, von der Leyen says this is cutting-edge, “European-made technology.” It is unclear what she means by this, she did not give further details. In practice, very few supercomputer parts have been made in Europe so far. Von der Leyen does say that the Commission wants European industry to develop its own next-generation microprocessor. According to her, this will contribute to the safe and sustainable use of the ever-increasing amounts of data.
The chairman sees this investment in the supercomputers as part of Europe’s ‘Digital Decade’, a period up to 2030. This also includes investing in infrastructure and artificial intelligence. With infrastructure she mainly refers to the realization of fast broadband connections for rural areas. She says it is unacceptable that 40 percent of residents in these areas do not yet have access to it. Furthermore, the Commission wants to invest in data and its accessibility, by building a European cloud platform, based on Gaia-X.
In total, the Commission will spend 20 percent of the NextGenerationEU fund on digital purposes. This EU recovery fund contains a total of 750 billion euros, which the EU will borrow on the capital markets and for which all EU Member States jointly guarantee. Most of this, 390 billion euros, concerns subsidies to countries without any reimbursement. The remaining EUR 360 billion are loans to Member States.
Von der Leyen also indicated in her speech that the EU will come up with its own plan to tax digital activities early next year, if no international agreement is reached with the OECD and the G20 on a fair system with sustainable revenues for the longer term.