In the framework of the EU4Digital Initiative, the European Union supports the digital economy and society in the Eastern Partner countries, fostering the harmonisation of digital markets in the region, in order to deliver integrated online services for citizens, public administrations and businesses.
Key to achieving this objective are the six EU4Digital networks of correspondents from the partner countries and the EU Member States responsible for specific policy areas, which were set up at the Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Community in October 2016. The EU4Digital networks serve as platforms for sharing best practices and experiences among Eastern Partners and with the EU, promoting synergies and developing joint projects and roadmaps for the period 2017-2019, and focusing on concrete and achievable deliverables that are aimed at improving the life of citizens and the competitiveness of businesses.
The Eastern Partnership Electronic Communications Regulators Network (EaPeReg) is an independent platform of National Regulatory Authorities for Electronic Communications Networks and Services. There are three main working groups within the EaPeReg Network – the Roaming Expert Working group (REWG), Benchmarking Expert Working group (BEWG) and Spectrum Expert Working group (SEWG).
- Ministries responsible for: communications and information technology, high technologies, economy and sustainable development.
- Regulatory Authorities for Electronic Communications networks and services.
Trust & Security network
The Trust & Security network focuses on the importance of trust in the digital economy and cyber security as a means to preserve the openness of Internet and online freedom, all necessary building blocks for interoperable cross border eGovernment services. It stresses the following:
- Trust services (electronic signatures, electronic seals, electronic time stamps, electronic registered delivery services and website authentication);
- Cyber security for improved resilience of the critical infrastructure in key sectors of the economy.
- Ministries responsible for: communication and information technologies, infrastructure, economic development and public services such as transportation.
- Departments responsible for cyber security, intelligence, public service development, e-governance.
The eTrade network addresses digital aspects of the full import-export cycle. It encompasses several aspects of the topic including commerce, customs, logistics and cross-border procedures. The focus is on electronic identification, digital trust services, network and information security, and cyber security.
- Ministries responsible for: trade, revenue, economic development and customs.
- Digital and IT government agencies/departments, data exchange agencies and institutions related to cyber security.
ICT Innovation network
ICT Innovation focuses on promoting ICT research, start-up, and innovation ecosystems in the Eastern Partner countries, taking into account similar efforts in the EU under Horizon 2020 and the Start-up Europe initiative. This work is expected to improve the sharing of research excellence and cross-border investments, while offering start-ups from the partner countries easier access to EU markets and vice versa.
- Ministries and agencies responsible for: communication and information technologies, public services and social innovation.
- Innovation agencies, ICT business councils and Scientific and Technology associations/parks.
eHealth aims to identify common challenges for the EaP partner countries and to issue regional harmonisation recommendations in the area of eHealth and active and healthy ageing.
- Ministries and agencies responsible for: health, labour and social affairs.
- Other participants include regional institutions such as insurance companies, eHealth agencies, policy schools etc.
The eSkills network focuses on formulating and implementing national digital skills strategies in the EaP partner countries, notably by establishing national coalitions for digital jobs, taking into account the EU’s ‘digital skills and jobs coalition’.
- Ministries responsible for: education, labour, economy and education.
- Representatives of industry organisations/associations, state universities and training providers.