Welcome to the second Communications Regional Special Section spotlighting European countries and Israel. On a relatively small portion of the Earth, this region includes almost 50 countries with enormous cultural and socioeconomic diversity that is also reflected in the richness of its business structures and computer science research. The first Hot Topic article in this section illustrates the high overall share of European public research on a global scale, and further highlights significant differences within the region. We are happy to report the authors in this special section represent 15 countries throughout Europe plus Israel.
An important goal emphasized by the European Union (E.U.) and many individual countries is to attain digital sovereignty of the private and public sectors, while further developing areas of traditional industrial and design strengths into the future. Data strategies and regulations by the E.U. therefore emphasize resilient networking of decentralized digital infrastructures in addition to the presence of international big players from, for example, North America or China. In this regard, important initiatives spotlighted here include the GAIA-X initiative on decentralized data space infrastructures, the FENIX network of scientific high-performance computing, the transition from 5G to 6G networks, and more domain-specific initiatives related to Industry 4.0, to robotics, and to energy informatics in the context of de-carbonization—an important element of making the E.U.'s "Green Deal" become a reality.