Day II. The twin challenge: towards a green and digital Europe

During the second day of the EEAC Annual Conference the relation between the green and digital transitions took center stage. Four experts representing advisory councils, think-tanks and the European Economic and Social Committee shared their views.

The morning session was opened by Pallas Agterberg from the Council on the Environment and Infrastructure. In her speech, Ms. Agterberg touched upon the role governments should pursue to advance both the green and digital transformations, with special attention to the role of digital platforms. On behalf of Ecologic Institute, Aaron Best provided a critique of economic theories suggesting that the invisible hand of the market had left a visible ecological footprint and should be replaced with coordinated and integrative approaches.  He zoomed-in on the complex and intertwined relationship between the digital transformation and the need to battle climate change.

Following an exchange on the role of national and regional governments, the speakers discussed the  EU’s emerging efforts at an integration of digitalization and sustainability. On behalf of the European Economic and Social Committee, Peter Schmidt (President of the European Economic and Social Committee-NATS Section) shared his views on the opportunities associated with digitalization for rural areas but also the need to not leave communities behind. Thorfinn Stainfort from the Institute for European Environmental Policy pointed out problematic gaps in the integration of the green and digital transformations in a variety of EU policies, including the EU Green Deal and the National Recovery and Resilience Plans, and the problems visible in their implementation.

The final day of the conference (Friday November 19th 2021),  will focus on ethics, democratic values and inclusion in the digital era. With a round table and live interview the third day promises to be highly informative. The conference recordings will be made available in the next weeks. Click here to consult the PowerPoint Presentations of day I and day II.