The Harnessing Talent Platform

Green eDIH: Driving Talent Development in the Digital Working Group

Green eDIH has been selected as a core team member of the DIGITAL Working Group, part of the European Commission’s Talent Booster Mechanism. Launched as a key initiative for the European Year of Skills 2023, the Talent Booster Mechanism aims to invigorate reskilling and upskilling efforts across the EU. It focuses on supporting regions facing a decline in their working-age population by helping them train, retain, and attract the necessary skills and competencies to navigate the demographic transition.

As part of Pillar 7, the DIGITAL Working Group – one of four focused on Digital, Health, Research & Innovation, and Territorial Development – addresses specific professional and territorial challenges. Green eDIH, among up to 20 core members, plays a pivotal role in shaping the group’s agenda. The group’s objective is to explore how regions can attract, develop, and retain talent amidst demographic challenges, by identifying potential solutions and developing relevant instruments.

Project Overview

Europe is experiencing significant demographic shifts, as highlighted by the 2023 Report on the Impact of Demographic Change. In response, the European Commission has published a Communication on Harnessing Talent in Europe’s Regions and launched the Talent Booster Mechanism. This initiative aims to reskill and upskill the workforce, contributing to the European Year of Skills 2023.

The EU is facing a sharp decline in its working-age population, which decreased by 3.5 million between 2015 and 2020 and is projected to decline by an additional 35 million by 2050. 

The affected regions are categorized as follows:

  • Talent development trap regions (46 regions, 16% of EU population) that face a decline in working-age population and a low number of tertiary-educated individuals. They typically have a lower GDP, averaging 64% of the EU’s GDP per capita, and a higher rural population (31% vs. 21% EU average).
  • At risk of talent development trap regions (36 regions, 13% of EU population) that are experiencing significant outmigration of people aged 15-39, risking future talent development challenges.
  • Other affected regions (82 regions in 16 Member States, almost 30% of EU population) which are experiencing a decline in the working-age population, low higher education graduation rates, and negative mobility among young adults.

The Talent Booster Mechanism focuses on supporting EU regions affected by the accelerated decline of their working-age population. It proposes place-based and multi-dimensional solutions, utilizing existing EU funds and initiatives to prevent new and increased territorial disparities.

Both the Talent Booster Mechanism and the Harnessing Talent Platform are part of the Demography Toolbox, published in October 2023, which outlines a comprehensive approach to managing demographic changes in the EU.

The Harnessing Talent Platform (HTP) is a newly established initiative designed to support EU regions in tackling the challenges brought about by demographic changes, specifically the decline of tertiary-educated populations. HTP aims to provide the necessary guidance, information, and knowledge to help regions develop and implement comprehensive strategies to train, attract, and retain talent.

Through HTP, the European Commission disseminates relevant information, promotes events and best practices, and offers access to technical assistance and advice. A dedicated helpdesk is also available, making HTP a catalyst for collaboration and the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and resources among stakeholders.

Challenges and Opportunities

Regions in a talent development trap face structural challenges such as labor market inefficiencies, underperforming education and training systems, and low innovation and public governance. Addressing these challenges is vital to ensure long-term prosperity and resilience.

Ensuring that these regions become more attractive and resilient is crucial to the EU’s commitment to inclusivity. Several pillars of the Talent Booster Mechanism target all EU regions, recognizing that even those in a more favorable situation may face sub-regional demographic challenges.

By fostering a collaborative environment through the Harnessing Talent Platform, the EU aims to mitigate the impact of demographic changes and enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of its regions.

As part of Pillar 7 of the Talent Booster Mechanism, four Working Groups have been established to address specific professional and territorial challenges. These groups focus on     Digital, Health, Research & Innovation, Territorial Development (including urban-rural linkages and quality of life)

These groups aim to enhance regional competitiveness and attractiveness for young, highly skilled workers. By bringing together stakeholders at the EU, national, and regional levels, the groups facilitate dialogue, exchange experiences, and build knowledge. They also identify opportunities and strategies to mitigate challenges related to the decline of tertiary-educated populations and harness talent in Europe’s regions.

Green eDIH has been selected as a core team member of the Digital Working Group, following the open call open for stakeholders at EU, national and regional level. In this role, Green eDIH will actively contribute to shaping and steering the group’s initiatives. The focus will be on gaining deeper insights into how regions facing demographic challenges can attract, develop, and retain digital talent by exploring potential solutions and devising relevant instruments.


The work of the Groups will allow to have a deeper insight into how regions dealing with demographic challenges can attract, develop and retain talent, by exploring potential solutions and devise instruments linked to the discussed topic.

The Working Groups aim to:

The specific objectives of the working group dedicated to the digital sector are:

How it Works?

The main missions and activities of the working group will be to

Between November 2023 and May 2026, Working Groups will meet at least three times per year, of which at least two meetings will be online and one meeting will be organised as physical meeting in Brussels, within the premises of the European Commission. The first physical meeting will take place on 24 November. During these Working Group meetings, participants will contribute to:

The figure below summarises the timeline proposed:

Call for members open

Selection of Working group members

Results are communicated to the members

1st Working Group meeting

Regular Working group activity

Digital WG Members

The working group has 20 members selected amongst the pool of applicants to the open call. From the 20 selected members, 2 have the role of WG leaders.

The HTP secretariat supports the Digital WG by providing: 1) a Digital WG facilitator and 2) a support team. In addition, the Digital working group will benefit from expertise provided through the HTP Secretariat.

The secretariat will mobilize a pool of external experts, which will support the group, on case by case basis, in its thematic activities.

View list of working group members

  • English (United States)
  • Romanian
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