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Digitale soevereiniteit

Bridging the Dutch and European Digital Sovereignty gap


Society and economy are increasingly dependent on ICT and connectivity. This became especially clear during the COVID19 pandemic, where digital means enabled many people to telework from home.10 Teleworking saved many sectors in the economy from collapse, resulting also in diverting a larger economic disruption. Digitalisation also improved value chain cooperation for various sectors, making value chains more transparent and resilient; in its wake also turning many such value chains into value networks.

Besides such benefits, digitalisation also comes with disadvantages. It has made societies more vulnerable for cyber threats and it has made them more dependent on digital technologies that are often in the hands of a limited number of foreign players. This dependency accelerated the political discussion on digital sovereignty both on national as well as on European level. While such political agenda-setting is crucial, the topic is rarely analysed in detail and often from singular perspectives (e.g. policy perspective only, or technological perspective only), with a growing number of exceptions. Therefore in this paper we analyse digital sovereignty from different perspectives (e.g. policy and technological, but also from economic-, innovation-, societal- and geopolitical perspectives).

Goal and target group of the paper
To goal of this paper is to:

  • Clarify the topic digital sovereignty to policy makers and stakeholders involved in various sectors (e.g. smart production, smart agro food etc.) from different perspectives (e.g. policy and technological, but also the economic, innovation, societal and geopolitical perspectives).
  • Provide an overview of the state of play of the measures to stimulate digital sovereignty.
  • Indicate what additional measures could be applied based on the preferred scenario of digital sovereignty.

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