22 July 2021
There is another East-West rift in the EU, this time dealing with the digital future and rules controlling the internet. Recent events have once again shown Central and Eastern European countries (CEE) that the Transatlantic relationship can be of more use than their union on the continent.
Internet governance is one of the major foundations of the new EU political and financial plans. Together with the green sustainable energy transformation, healthcare and labour market reinvigoration, the re-regulation of the single digital market is the key point of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, a countercyclical boost to help mitigate the dire societal and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic costing the EU roughly 670 billion euros.
At least 20 per cent of that sum is to be allocated to projects related to digital transformation.
Despite the consensus on the size of the EU budget, there’s still discord on the policy side of things. As often is the case, the division has a geographical dimension with the eastern EU member states and particularly in the V4 region. There are four major reasons why CEE countries are to a large extent not in line with the EU digital agenda.