The EIB at the UN Internet Governance Forum in Katowice
7 December 2021
The EIB joined the 16th annual UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF 2021), which takes place this year in Katowice, Poland, from 6-10 December under the overarching theme Internet United.
As the event promoters explain, during the COVID-19 crisis, the internet proved to be key in organising our lives to an extent that we could never have foreseen just a short time ago. This has only confirmed what an important and valuable part of our lives it has become. We are living in a digital world, and we need freedom, openness and security.
EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska participated in the High-Level Leaders Track: Investing in digital growth and enabling capacities – transnational and transcontinental synergies.
The panel focused on the challenges of achieving effective digitalisation: how to exploit synergies and digital cooperation, and how to foster growth and create a favourable ecosystem for startups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as they play a key role in the digital transformation.
“The EIB experience shows that digital technologies boost productivity and contribute to greater energy efficiency across a wide range of sectors. They enable faster scientific discoveries and better research, while also driving productivity through industry-wide applications such as improved human-robot collaboration, predictive maintenance, faster and more reliable design and quality control, and improved supply chain management. All in all, if approached wisely, digitalisation has the potential to offset some of the negative consequences of global megatrends, including changing demographics, urbanisation and climate change,” said EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska.
By 2020, 37% of European firms had still not adopted any advanced digital technology, compared with 27% in the United States. The slow adaptation of digital technologies threatens to impede European firms’ competitiveness in the long term, as digital firms tend to perform better than non-digital firms do. They invest more, are more innovative, have better management practices, grow faster and create higher-paying jobs. Digital firms are also more likely to invest in tackling the transition and physical risks of climate change. While EU firms are overall lagging behind US peers in adopting and creating new digital technologies, Europe excels in one area — the intersection of green/digital technologies.
Poland’s investment priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic in the light of digitalisation and the fight against climate change were the main theme of today’s expert conference attended by Jarosław Gowin, Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development, Labour and Technology, and EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, as well as leading business figures, representatives of financial institutions and entrepreneurs.