Álvarez-Pallete defends the need to strengthen Europe's strategic autonomy

The president of Telefónica and Vestager agree on the need to commit to retraining.

Álvarez-Pallete defends the need to strengthen Europe's strategic autonomy

The president of Telefónica and Vestager agree on the need to commit to retraining

The Chairman of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, defended this Thursday at the EnlightED event the need to create a framework that reinforces the strategic autonomy of the European Union to strengthen the well-being of its societies.

"Europe faces great challenges, but also a great opportunity. Our energy model, our technological dependency, our supply chain of essential materials and food, and also our way of training the professionals who will imagine the future, are being redefined at a rapid pace. ", assured the Spanish executive before the executive vice president of the European Commission, Marghrete Vestager.

Álvarez-Pallete has remarked that the "great opportunity for Europe" lies in defending its model of society in the face of all the changes that are taking place in the world and that, among other effects, its inequalities are increasing.

The Chairman of Telefónica has emphasized the common challenges faced by the 'Old Continent' in fields such as security, defense, energy and education. However, he recalled that Europe is a "first order global player"

"It is the time of Europe. It is the time of more Europe. (...) We have a Europe of the stature of the new digital era", he added during his speech in which he also alluded to the redefinition of "gears forces" of the energy model, technological dependency, the supply chain and essential foods.


In this context, both the manager and Vestager have agreed on the importance of retraining the workforce to face the future challenges that this paradigm shift brings and avoid social tensions.

Álvarez-Pallete has pointed out that the digital transition and the green transition are going to require the retraining of 20 million people and that three out of four companies can no longer find the trained workers they need.

The manager also highlighted the role of EnlightED: "This knowledge meeting point that brings us together today is essential to promote global dialogue on the needs and future of training, in permanent contact with the business fabric."

In addition, he recalled some of Telefónica's initiatives in this area, such as the creation of nanogrados, RF4, the 42 programming schools, the Profuturo children's training program together with the La Caixa Foundation and the launch of the largest 'reskilling' program ' of Europe.

For his part, Vestager has defined the retraining of workers as one of the most important challenges facing Europe and has praised the proposal that 2023 be 'the European year of skills'.

For the also Competition Commissioner, professional recycling is a challenge for both employee and employer and has called for going beyond "online courses". Likewise, she has highlighted the need to incorporate the need to update themselves into the worker's mentality, since new knowledge is going to be needed.

"It is never too late to learn", assured the vice-president, who also made allusions to Internet regulation and strategic autonomy during a colloquium held during the event, which takes place in the Telefónica District.

Vestager has stressed the importance of the Internet "not being the Wild West" and defending the privacy of citizens, who should be able to have the option of being clearly asked if they authorize the use of their data.

As for strategic sovereignty, the European commissioner has praised the diversification of energy suppliers carried out by Europe to reduce its dependence on Russian gas and, specifically, has highlighted the Spanish example.

He has also recognized that Europe has a "way to go" in terms of digitization, but has been optimistic about the organization's ability to innovate and increase chip manufacturing. In addition, he has called for more investments in connectivity to end the Internet access gap, as well as the gender gap.


During her speech, the Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Pilar Alegría, has opted to "know how to train" young people so that they approach digital tools "from prudence and maturity", in addition to "getting a good training of the faculty".

The debate on what the digital era should be like in the educational system is, as Alegría has pointed out, an "absolutely timely and accurate debate at this time." "In the educational system we need to listen to opinions from outside," she added.

For the head of Vocational Education and Training, it is "absolutely essential" to be "very receptive to listening to other types of opinions or visions" outside the educational system.

"Why digitize the education system?" asked Alegría, who responded that digitization has to "serve a purpose" to achieve the objectives of the education system.

Specifically, he explained that digitization must be a tool to achieve quality education for everyone, "wherever they live", and that it makes it possible to achieve a "more personalized education so that students can make the most of their skills".

Likewise, the minister added that it has to be a tool that allows "improving a truly inclusive education, where everyone learns together but with personalized attention", as well as a tool that helps to "reduce inequalities". "This digitization is going to allow us to achieve lifelong training. This digital transformation is going to allow us to achieve our objectives in a more intense and faster way", she stated.