On 5 October 2017 in Tallinn, the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union – in close cooperation with the European Commission – organised and hosted the second Eastern Partnership ministerial meeting on the digital economy.
The meeting was co-chaired by Estonian Minister for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo and Vice-President of the European Commission for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip.
The EU ministers and representatives responsible for digital economy met their Armenian, Azerbaijani, Belarusian, Georgian, Moldovan and Ukrainian counterparts in the afternoon to discuss the Eastern Partnership’s progress and achievements in the digital economy since their first meeting in June 2015; as well as future opportunities and challenges for the further development of a strong digital economy in the Eastern Partnership.
Representatives of international financial institutions (IFIs), regulatory authorities for electronic communications, research and education data networks, as well as representatives of the private sector and civil society were also present.
The Commission and the ministers responsible for digital economy stressed the importance of the digital economy as a core element of the Eastern Partnership policy, and underlined the need to strive for the harmonisation of digital markets (HDM) among EaP partners and with the EU. The participants affirmed their shared commitment to the digital economy, including HDM and underlined its importance for social and economic development, and for the creation of growth and jobs.
In light of the current state of cooperation in the Eastern Partnership, the participants exchanged views on six joint priority topics: electronic communications and infrastructure, trust and security, e-trade, digital skills, ICT innovation and startup ecosystems, and e-health.
The participants agreed on specific targets for 2020 as part of a roadmap for future digital cooperation in the EaP, ensuring concrete benefits for citizens and businesses this way. They proposed their adopted declaration (408 kB) as input to the November 2017 Eastern Partnership summit.
The Commission and the ministers confirmed their readiness to work further on strengthened and intensified mutually beneficial digital economy relations in the Eastern Partnership.
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