A Look Back At Spain’s 2023 Presidency Of The EU Council

Spain's Presidency Of EU Council Ends

Spain's presidency of EU Council. Credit: Rob Wilson/Shutterstock.com

As 2023 ended, so did the six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union by Spain. 

On December 31, 2023, Spain concluded its transformative tenure as the president of the Council of the European Union. This period wasn’t just a routine leadership role.

Amidst global challenges like the pandemic and the Ukraine crisis, Spain’s presidency was pivotal, especially in the realm of digitalisation.

Significant Achievements In Digitalisation

Under Spain’s leadership, the EU saw the advancement of four critical laws, the review of two existing ones, and the signing of four significant agreements, all aiming to reshape the technology sector. These strides mark a new era in the EU’s digital landscape.

Revolutionising Digital Identity

One of the crowning achievements was the agreement to revise the eIDAS Regulation, paving the way for a new European Digital Identity framework.

‘With the approval of the European Digital Identity Regulation, we are taking a fundamental step so that citizens can have a unique and secure European digital identity,’ commented the First Vice President and Minister of Economy.

This development promises to simplify and secure online access for Europeans, using their national digital IDs.

Fostering Interoperability And Cyber Resilience

Spain also played a crucial role in the passage of the Interoperable Europe Law, aimed at enhancing cross-border cooperation and digital solutions within the EU.

Alongside, the EU Council ratified the European Union Cyber Resilience Law. This ground-breaking legislation sets mandatory cybersecurity requirements for digital products, significantly boosting the region’s digital security.

A Landmark In Artificial Intelligence Regulation

Perhaps the most anticipated outcome of Spain’s presidency was the European Artificial Intelligence Regulation. After intense negotiations, this pioneering law seeks to ensure that AI systems in the EU align with community values and rights, while fostering innovation.

‘Europe will only be as strong as its weakest link, be it a vulnerable Member State or an unsafe product in the supply chain,’ stated Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton.

Expanding Horizons

Beyond these laws, Spain’s presidency also involved reviewing existing regulations and fostering international cooperation in emerging technologies like neurotechnology and quantum computing.

This holistic approach signifies a commitment to not just govern but also to lead and innovate in the digital domain.

Spain’s presidency of the Council of the European Union has been a period of dynamic change and progress, particularly in the digital sector.

Their efforts have laid a foundation that promises to shape the European Union’s digital future for years to come.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.