Digital Europe that includes the EuroHPC supercomputing programme, is left with 6,76 billion euro instead of 8,2 billion. This amount of money that has tp be split over several activities, including not only supercomputing but also AI, seems to put an end to Europe's ambition to become a top-3 leader on the world scale. Japan, with the Fugaku supercomputer has shown the usefulness of a near-exascale supercomputer in doing simulations that directly benefit COVID-19 research. Current supercomputers in Europe seriously lag behind, and also the planned pre-exascale EuroHPC supercomputing systems that are expected to come online will most likely be no match for the Fugaku.
Even in the reduced plans from the Commission only one exascale supercomputer from the 2021 Digital Europe budget was guaranteed. Whether there will still be enough money left in Digitial Europe to plan for a competitive exascale supercomputer to be rolled out somewhere in 2023, remains to be seen.