This was the main message from the conference on Digitalisation in Austria on 19 June, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee
Representatives from the Austrian Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs, the city of Vienna and a wide range of civil society organisations from Austria took part in the conference. As part of the conference there was also a panel with young Austrian experts on digitalisation, representing the three groups at the EESC – Employers, Workers and Diversity Europe.
"It is not an easy task to deal with digitalisation in a way that all the layers of the society reap an equal benefit," underlined in his opening speech the President of the European Economic and Social Committee Luca Jahier. "Precisely therefore we, at the European Economic and Social Committee, promote the idea of ‘digital justice’ - we want that no-one is left behind from the digital revolution." President Jahier outlined the main dimensions of digitalisation – the corporate aspect and the effect of digitalisation on European companies; the labour dimension and the impact it has on jobs and skills; the consumer dimension which is also linked to data protection and cybersecurity and the impact of digitalisation on civil society organisations.
"I am delighted to see that the Austrian Presidency has a firm compromise to keep working on the issues that have not yet been transformed into legislation. We see that it will not only discuss the technical, economic and investment aspects of the digitalisation but also its consequences on the everyday life of the citizens," emphasized President Jahier in his speech. "We will keep working together with the common aim to achieve a fair, comprehensive digitalisation for everyone."
The conference on digitalization followed the extraordinary meeting of the EESC Bureau which took place in Vienna. The topic of the conference is in line with the priorities of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union which will start on 1 July 2018.
As an active advocator of digital justice, the EESC has already adopted a number of opinions which address the various aspects of digitalization such as:
- A socially sustainable concept for the digital era (2018)
- Implications of the digitalisation and robotisation of transport on EU policy-making (2017)
- The role and opportunities of social partners and other civil society organisations in the context of new forms of work (2017)
- Digitisation and innovative business models in the European financial sector, impact on employment and customers (2017)
- Effects of digitalisation on service industries and employment (2015)