In 2024, European citizens will vote in elections that will determine how the European Union tackles issues such as reinforcing our democratic values, responding to a changing geopolitical landscape, mitigating climate change, strengthening the economy, and embracing ever changing technology in our evolving world.
At Microsoft, we work closely with large and small European businesses, governments, and civil society, as well as the EU institutions themselves. Our technologies touch the lives of millions of Europeans every day – including our nearly 20,000 employees in the region – and we share their hopes and concerns for the future.
As the EU heads into this election year, I am proud to share our ideas for empowering Europe through technology in five key areas: protecting and securing democracy; driving innovation and growth; advancing sustainability and energy resilience; leading in responsible AI; and enabling an inclusive workforce.
Europe runs on democracy. In the current geopolitical context, Europe can continue to serve as a model on the global stage, projecting and defending our fundamental values. New technologies can be tools for strengthening and modernizing democracy, but they are also a double-edged sword, and when misused they can pose a threat to the very same principles that we are trying to protect.
Microsoft is committed to protecting our democratic foundations and ensuring the security and integrity of electoral processes. Our efforts include leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) in cyber-defense, as well as using technology to counter disinformation and foster an independent press.
Europe must remain dynamic and increase its competitive edge to enable its green and digital transition. Microsoft is committed to actively supporting Europe in adopting and integrating cutting-edge technologies that can help redefine the region’s economic landscape. Our commitment extends beyond innovation and economic growth as it encompasses bolstering Europe’s energy resilience and accelerating progress towards reaching our climate targets. By collectively embracing forward-thinking solutions, we aim to contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future, aligning our efforts with Europe’s broader vision for a prosperous and sustainable society.
Finally, the digital transformation is crucial for Europe. This mindset has been consistently reinforced by the EU’s 2030 Digital Decade targets. The key to enabling Europe’s digital transformation is the increased adoption of AI and cloud technologies, coupled with closing the digital skills gap. These are all areas where Microsoft has made commitments to ensuring digital development in Europe. This includes our work on democratizing AI, ensuring that it is developed responsibly, and that it is safe, secure, and accountable to the European public.
Microsoft stands for technology as a positive force in society and people’s lives, in line with our mission of empowering every person and organization to achieve more. As we navigate the next five years towards 2030, we look forward to continuing to work closely with all our European stakeholders to help harness technology that enriches and empowers Europe.
The above is an excerpt from the document, “Ideas for Europe for the Next Five Years.” Read the full document here.