• Digital Transformation

Europe’s business leaders lay out their digital priorities for the next EU mandate

Download the Digital Transformation publication and the Capgemini Research Institute survey that informs it.

Brussels, 4 July 2024: As the countdown begins to the mandate of the next European Commission, corporate leaders from across the industrial & technological sectors today released a publication sharing their thoughts on the digital priorities for the next 5 years.

The publication entitled The Digital Transformation of Industry has been prepared & released by the European Round Table for Industry (ERT). ERT brings together some 60 CEOs and Chairs from a cross-sectoral collection of major European companies, with operations worldwide – all of which are engaged in the digital and energy transitions.


Against a backdrop of sustainability demands and geopolitical volatility, ERT’s publication highlights the critical need for the next EU institutional cycle to implement robust digital strategies fully in step with the rest of its legislative agenda.

Here are some of the report’s key recommendations:

  • Urgency of Digital Transformation: ERT underscores that digital transformation is not just a tool but the very foundation for Europe’s future prosperity and competitiveness. With progress lagging, Europe must seize digital opportunities to bridge productivity gaps.
  • Strategic Action Plan: ERT calls for a comprehensive industrial action plan for digital transformation with clear, industry-specific roadmaps. The publication focuses on six critical areas: Connectivity, Data, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud & Edge, Cybersecurity, and Sustainability.
  • Support for Innovation: To foster innovation, ERT calls for a more balanced regulatory framework, reducing complexity and fragmentation, and creating a true Digital Single Market.
  • Massive Digital Skills Initiative: Addressing the digital skills gap is essential. ERT advocates for enhanced digital education and training programmes, making Europe more attractive to experts and fostering partnerships between public research and the private sector.
  • Investment in New Frontiers: Europe must develop and implement better strategies for emerging technologies such as Quantum Computing and the Industrial Metaverse to stay ahead.

The publication also benefits from additional research Toward a digital Europe in an era of sustainability by the Capgemini Research Institute, which surveyed 1,800 executives across 30 countries. The responses of these executives from various industrial ecosystems informed the recommendations reached by ERT Members. Among the key results of the survey:

  • A large majority of European executives think policymakers should develop a stronger strategic approach to securing future competitiveness.
  • While most executives believe complex regulations hinder European competitiveness, many are also optimistic the complexity can be addressed.
  • 8 in ten executives agree that digital transformation is imperative to support Europe’s competitiveness.
  • A large majority of executives believe that digital transformation is a prerequisite for achieving long-term sustainability.

ERT is committed to working closely with the European Commission, the Parliament and national governments across the EU-27, as well as other stakeholders to implement these recommendations and drive Europe towards a fully digitally empowered future.

Download the ERT publication The Digital Transformation of Industry here.

The publication comes at a critical juncture. In today’s fast evolving landscape of digital transformation Europe must not merely catch up, but take a leading position in the global digital economy. Investments must accelerate in order to be more competitive, more innovative, more sustainable and less dependent. ERT is calling on European policymakers to embrace a renewed industrial strategy rooted in the implementation of targeted deployment plans for each industry. In parallel, key digital enablers such as connectivity, data & AI, cloud computing or cybersecurity need to advance more rapidly, as well as addressing the massive digital skills gap that Europe is currently facing. At the same time, the creation of a true Digital Single Market, with a more practical and harmonised legislative framework, designed to accelerate innovation, is a must.
Aiman Ezzat
  • Aiman Ezzat
  • CEO, Capgemini and Chair of ERT's Committee on Digital Transformation