Brussels, Feb 8 (EFE).- Achieving homogeneous digitization in all territories, whether rural or urban, is one of the main demands that the regional governments of La Rioja and Cantabria raised this Wednesday in plenary session of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) held in Brussels.
The president of the Government of La Rioja, Concha Andreu, assured that “the digital revolution must benefit all citizens regardless of their socioeconomic origin and the distance where they live” and, for this reason, demanded that the digital issue be taken into account in the gap between the urban and rural world.
Andreu highlighted the work that, in his opinion, public administrations can carry out to counteract this situation of inequality, and stated that his Executive has redesigned “all the services it provides” by creating a “digital service standard” that puts the citizen “at the center”.
“This will make it possible to fight against depopulation through digitization and promote equal opportunities between the urban and rural areas,” argued Andreu, who also leads the Spanish delegation of the CdR, the advisory body that groups cities and regions of the European Union ( EU).
For her part, the Minister of the Presidency of Cantabria, Paula Fernández Viaña, focused on the lack of connectivity suffered by some rural areas.
According to Viaña, in Cantabria there are 90,000 homes located in white areas, the name given to those territories that have a very deficient or non-existent telecommunications network.
“It is difficult to try to attract new residents to the towns if you cannot offer a quality Internet connection, it is not a luxury but a necessity,” Viaña asserted.
According to her, the result of the lack of connectivity in many rural municipalities can be summarized as: “lack of communication, greater difficulty in accessing quality education, lack of employment and depopulation.”
For this reason, Viaña stated that broadband connection has “strategic importance for growth and innovation in Europe” and, in his opinion, it is a key element in promoting social cohesion.
In this regard, the Cantabrian minister welcomed the fact that the European Commission approved a package of 500 million euros last autumn to finance the deployment of broadband networks in rural areas of Spain.
In this sense, the European Commissioner for Competition, Margarethe Vestager, who also spoke at the CoR plenary, stated that local and regional communities play a leading role in advancing the digitization of the EU.
In addition, Vestager warned the States that they will not be able to achieve this challenge “if they do not actively consult the regions” when drawing up their plans for the Digital Decade, the program with which Brussels aspires to achieve a technological transformation in the EU for the year 2030.
“What it is about is that everyone feels taken into account, that no one feels excluded due to lack of connectivity or because they have not been offered the courses they deserve to train in the digital age,” stressed the Danish commissioner .
However, the Government of the Region of Murcia, which also participated in the debate on digitization of the Committee of the Regions, warned that the challenges of technological transformation require “a strong investment” and to have “sufficient highly trained technical personnel.”
“The small size of local and regional administrations makes it difficult to fight for talent in a market that after the pandemic has caused labor costs to skyrocket,” said the director general of the European Union of the Murcian government, Adrián Zittelli.
For this reason, he called for “close collaboration” between the different institutional levels, betting on interoperability and the creation of shared positions in cybersecurity centers, in order to be “at the level of large companies and public administrations.”
The entry Digitize without leaving any territory behind, Spanish clamor in Brussels was first published in EFE Noticias.