in: integration 44 (4), 266-286
Digital transformation has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, it affects almost all areas of social and economic life. As a cross-cutting issue and solution to specific challenges, it is also increasingly the subject of initiatives at EU level. Since 2015, the EU has developed a comprehensive digital agenda that involves various areas, ranging from the single market to foreign and security policy. The paper traces the dynamic development on the basis of strategy documents and policy guidelines in three phases with a focus on 2020 and 2021. It takes stock of the EU’s overarching strategy towards digitalisation by examining what the EU understands by it, what its goals are, and what role it draws for itself in shaping the digital transformation. The study shows that the EU tries to grasp digitalisation in a substantial number of policy-specific strategies and guidelines, using mainly four patterns of interpretation - partly in parallel - which differ in terms of geopolitical, environmental, socio-political and economic policy framing.