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Why are digital skills important and how do you see them evolving in the Eastern partner countries in five years’ time? How will EU4Digital have helped?
Digital transformation is one of the key catalysts for the Eastern partner countries to maintain sustainable economic growth, ensure human capital development and improve governance. The European Union aims to set the basis for digitally empowering one million Eastern Partnership (EaP) citizens via the provision of digital learning opportunities and the EU4Digital Digital Skills stream is conducting activities that support these goals. One focus is to bridge the digital divide through a digital competence framework for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In this area, EU4Digital is facilitating the development of a regional EU4Digital Academy to provide skills training, and developing country-specific methodologies to facilitate mentorship programmes. EU4Digital Facility also supports the work of a regional Digital Skills network.
Building on EU4Digital Facility Phase I work to develop a methodology to measure and forecast digital skills gaps in the EaP, in line with DESI, the Digital Economy and Society Index, the EU4Digital DESI Accelerator is now active. With DESI Accelerator assistance, the Eastern partner countries are anticipated to establish full DESI indicator collection and be able to independently and sustainably adopt any methodological changes. This requires strong national statistical offices and proven systematic mechanisms of data collection. With this capability, Eastern partner countries will be able to incorporate more accurate digital performance-related data in their national strategies, supporting evidence-based policy planning. Also, as DESI becomes aligned even more closely with the EU Digital Decade, in five years, Eastern partner countries should be able to gather data in a common way and in line with EU practices.