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21 Jun 2018

Belarus to present proposals on coordinating EU4Digital projects to European Commission

MINSK, 21 June (BelTA) – Belarus will present its proposals on coordinating digital projects of the EU4Digital networks in July, Belarusian Communications and Informatization Minister Sergei Popkov said during the 10th round of informal ministerial dialogues of the Eastern Partnership states on 21 June, BelTA has learned.

“The majority of digital technologies are global in nature. Their efficiency can be maximized if they are used simultaneously not only by one company, industry or even a country, but by at least a group of countries. Therefore, regional digital integration comes to the forefront. This integration is designed to approximate digital markets of the Eastern Partnership countries,” Sergei Popkov said.

The priority areas of digital cooperation of the Eastern Partnership states include infrastructure and telecom rules, trust services, cybersecurity, eTrade (which includes eCommerce, eCustoms and eLogistics), digital skills, ICT research, eHealthcare. EU4Digital regional networks were created to promote cooperation in these areas. Cooperation roadmaps and action plans for the period until 2020 were elaborated taking into consideration respective decisions of the Eastern Partnership Summit in 2017.

The documents of the European Commission and decisions of the Eastern Partnership Summit proceed from the fact that the approximation of digital markets can help remove existing obstacles and barriers in providing pan-European digital services for individuals, government agencies and businesses. “This should give rise to more efficient and diverse services with the best prices, encourage investments and promote trade and job creation,” Sergei Popkov said.

To fulfill these goals, the European Commission’s document “20 Deliverables for 2020” has incorporated pilot projects to create a regional environment for cross-border services in eTrade, eLogistics, digital transport corridors and eHealthcare.

The minister believes that the implementation of these projects could be fostered by using the public-private partnership model. It would also help to increase efficiency of the EU4Digital program by taking advantage of the expertise and knowledge of digital businesses.

“The Communications and Informatization Ministry has teamed up with experts from the digital market community to draft proposals on coordination of multilateral projects of the EU4Digital program. Belarus is set to submit them to the corresponding agencies of the European Commission and the partner states in July this year,” Sergei Popkov said.

Informal ministerial dialogues of the Eastern Partnership countries have been held since 2012 in the format of meetings of foreign ministers and heads of sector-specific agencies (each round focuses on a specific sector). Taking part in such dialogues are top officials of the European Union. The major goal of the dialogues is to enable an informal exchange of views across the topical agenda of the Eastern Partnership Initiative and the international agenda. Nine rounds of dialogues have been held by now. Minsk already hosted the ministerial meeting in June 2015 (with the focus on environment).

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