The European Union hosted a ministerial meeting on the Digital Community with its Eastern Partners in Brussels on 18 October.
EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Günther Oettinger and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn met Ministers in charge of the Digital Economy and Society from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, and discussed collaboration on digital issues, and in particular the EU4Digital regional networks initiative.
Once in place, the Digital Community will deepen cooperation between the EU and its Eastern European partners in the digital economy and society, aiming to deliver the benefits of the Digital Single Market(DSM) to the EU's neighbouring countries, bringing economic growth, generating jobs, improving people’s lives and helping businesses.
"The Digital Community will open new opportunities for citizens and business on both sides, through improved digital governance, better connectivity with and across the region, and intensified people to people contacts,” said Commissioner Hahn.
“To give a concrete example: we have now a commitment to work towards a harmonised framework for e-commerce, which will allow an online and protected access to goods to consumers across the eastern partnership."
EU4Digital regional networks will work on jointly agreed priority topics: telecom rules, ICT research, startups and innovation, trust services and e-Identification, cybersecurity and eTrade. These networks would serve as platforms for sharing best practices and experiences among eastern European partners and with the EU, promoting synergies and developing joint projects.
As a next step, the EU4Digital networks will develop cooperation roadmaps for the period 2017-2019 in their respective thematic areas, focusing on concrete and achievable deliverables, which aim at improving the life of citizens and the competitiveness of businesses, writes EU Neighbours East Info.