“The Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) is inaugurating on 1 June, in Sines, the ‘EllaLink’ undersea optical cable, which links Europe to South America and will be “essential” for the digital interconnection of the continents.
The ‘EllaLink’, which is the first direct high-speed link by submarine cable between Europe and South America, is considered by the Portuguese presidency to be “an essential infrastructure for the digital interconnection and transmission of data between the two continents”.
The inauguration ceremony, scheduled for 10:50am, will take place in a hybrid format (in person and online) from Sines, where the cable will be anchored, with a connection to Fortaleza (Brazil), and will be presided over by Prime Minister António Costa.
The event will also include interventions, by videoconference, of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli.
The inauguration of ‘EllaLink’ is part of the ‘Leading the Digital Decade’ event, co-organised by the Portuguese Presidency and the European Commission, with the presence of representatives of “several EU Member States, representatives of the European Parliament and the European Commission, as well as representatives of the private sector and civil society”.
The two-day meeting aims to “promote a wide debate around the digital transformation of the EU”, based on the objectives of the Digital Decade, an initiative presented by the Commission in March to ensure that all European citizens can benefit from digital.
On 1 June, the ‘Lisbon Declaration - Digital Democracy with Purpose’, a contribution to a ‘joint interinstitutional declaration’ on digital rights and principles that the Commission is preparing, is due to be presented.
The Lisbon Declaration, indicates the Portuguese Presidency, includes “commitments to ensure access to high quality connectivity across Europe, promote the acquisition of digital skills by all citizens and build a fair and non-discriminatory online world”.
The Minister of Economy and Digital Transition, Pedro Siza Vieira, will speak at the opening session of the first day of the “Leading Digital Day”, scheduled at 10am, followed by a speech by the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton.
At the closing session of the first day, at 5:15pm, the Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the portfolio “A Europe Fit for the Digital Era”, Margrethe Vestager, and the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, will speak.
The second day will be dedicated to the Digital Europe Programme, which has a budget of €7.5 billion to fund European projects in supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and advanced digital skills.”