Today, in the afternoon of October 5, the digital ministers of the European Union meet with their Armenian, Azerbaijani, Belarusian, Georgian, Moldovan and Ukrainian counterparts to discuss cooperation opportunities in digital economy. The clear interest of the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries is to work closely together on digital issues so that the 70 million consumers in the EaP countries can also benefit from the opportunities of the digital single market.
"Estonia has strongly supported the digital growth of the Eastern Partnership countries through development cooperation programs. Estonian experts from the private sector and national e-services have advised the creation of e-states and cyber-security strategies for example in Georgia, Moldova, Armenia and Ukraine. A great example of successful cooperation was the e-health and population register development project in Moldova, supported by the expertise of the bright minds of Estonia," said Urve Palo, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology.
"During our Presidency, we want to contribute to increasing the cooperation between the European Union and our Eastern partners. The digital leaders and officials of the Eastern countries regularly attend training sessions in Estonia on how to shape ICT policies and promote e-state development. We, on the other hand, are pleased that we can share our best practices and cooperate with more and more countries in e-services in the future," Palo commented.
"In addition to the interaction between governments, cooperation between businesses has become increasingly diversified, supported by the state as well. Development cooperation funds have supported initiatives of the Estonian startup community in the Eastern Partnership countries to launch their start-ups' eco-system and jointly organised hackathons and training programs have already been held in Georgia," added Palo.
At the meeting, the digital ministers of the European Union and the Eastern Partnership give their approval on their Joint Declaration on Digital Economy. The declaration confirms the interest of all parties in working together to build security and confidence in digital economy, e-commerce, e-customs and digital customs solutions. The improvement of digital skills, development of e-health services and creation of a favourable business environment for start-ups are also topics held in high regard in the Ministerial Declaration.
The Eastern Partnership Ministerial meeting is organised by the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in cooperation with the European Commission in Tallinn. The meeting is led by Urve Palo, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, and Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the European Commission.