Marco Mayer Francesco Gabrielli

Next generation Eu: The digital transition’s policy dilemmas



In the Nineties it was exceedingly clear that «cyberspace» had become a new artificial domain of power in international politics in addition to the four previously identified domains (land, air, maritime, and space). As to warfare, this new dimension implies a network-centred and information- sharing approach both between the army, the navy, the air force, the space and within the different military forces, including the use of Artificial intelligence. This multi dimensional domain affects human societies in a profound way and already deeply influences not only everyday life, but also human behaviour, finance, trade, and international politics in all the previous four domains combined. This is why we have suggested using the definition «digital society» instead of the term «cyberspace» which appears to us – although technically correct – too limited. The European Union decided that the «digital transformation» would be one of the two priorities (together with the green transition) of Next Generation Eu, whose strategy is intended to benefit European citizens, businesses and the environment. This can be achieved only if the Eu’s approach is based on thorough understanding of the criticalities of the digital transition. The Ict revolution together with globalisation created deep and consistent interconnections and interdependencies between the major world powers in the global political and economic arenas, and even in the most resilient democracies new digital technologies – and relevant networks – can challenge the central values of an «open society». On the external dimension, cyberattacks and disinformation coming from state-sponsored groups in countries like China, Iran and Russia are mounting, making the Eu-Us digital and Ict cooperation a renewed priority. The Us and Eu’s common goals should indeed aim at fighting ransomwares, disinformation and finalising a common approach to cloud computing and Ai, both at civil and military level, not only to better ensure the safety and privacy of citizens’ data, but primarily to safeguard civil, religious, and political liberties, the rule of law and the effective functioning of democratic institutions.


  • Digital Transition
  • European Union
  • United States
  • International Politics
  • Digital Authoritarianism
  • Totalitarianism
  • China
  • Cybersecurity


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