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Belgian Presidency of the EU Will Guide Europe Towards the Next Chapter

On 1 January 2024, Belgium will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union marking the end of this institutional cycle. With the June 2024 elections on the horizon, Belgium has a unique opportunity to guide the Union towards a future of digital innovation and sustainable growth.

DIGITALEUROPE’s Director-General Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl said:

’’Belgium has the chance to set a forward-looking agenda that paves the way for a Europe that is not only more connected, innovative, and resilient, but also capable of meeting key performance indicators outlined in our freshly published manifesto. Among these, we envision a Europe where one market, one set of digital rules puts the Single Market back at the heart of the EU project, and where we take stock and streamline EU data rules. These indicators, along with our ambitious goals for digital transformation, will play a pivotal role in guiding Europe towards a future of digital innovation and sustainable growth’’.

Bart Steukers, CEO of the Belgian Federation for the Technology Industry Agoria said:

‘’We hope to see a Belgian presidency looking to tackle challenges all European member states are facing. We look forward to the finalisation and implementation of the much-anticipated Cyber Resilience and AI Acts. A GDPR scenario with fragmented interpretations from one country to another must be avoided. We insist on a well thought-out, coordinated approach between the new digital authorities at national level. On the other hand, the Belgian presidency presents the perfect opportunity to pave the way for a European strategy that focuses on supporting competitiveness. The previous Commission has produced a lot of new regulations, now the time has come for a shift to competitiveness, with a company friendly, harmonised implementation of new regulations and special attention to capacity building, investments, and open strategic autonomy’’.

The Belgian presidency will also serve as a crucial bridge between the current European Commission and the upcoming one. It has a significant role to play to facilitate a seamless transition, ensuring that any future digital policies and priorities resonate with what has been achieved so far as part of the Digital Decade strategy.

Regarding pending legislation, if the AI Act and the Cyber Resilience Act are not finalised during the current Spanish presidency, the Belgian Presidency will take the lead in concluding negotiations on these pivotal legislative initiatives. These acts hold immense significance for both the digital technology industry and the broader European economy. We hope that the Belgian Presidency will advocate for an AI rulebook that aligns with other relevant sectoral regulations, offers companies clear guidance on risk categorisations, and places a special emphasis on harmonising with international standards.

We look forward to working closely with Belgium during this presidency and remain committed to collaborating towards a stronger, more resilient Europe.

Source: Digital Europe