EU4Digital, a new initiative funded by the European Union to support the digital economy and society, held an event to present the programme in Yerevan on 15 May 2019, with the support of the Delegation of European Union to Armenia and the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies of the Republic of Armenia.
The aim of the event was to present the EU4Digital as a flagship initiative channelling a broad range of actions in support of EU policy objectives in the digital area. The event also took stock of the situation and progress made in the digital sector in Armenia and looked ahead to upcoming actions.
The session was addressed by the Deputy Head of Cooperation Section of the Delegation of European Union to Armenia, Gregory Tsouris, and the Adviser to the Minister of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies of the Republic of Armenia Gayane Serobyan.
“The EU had long history of cooperation with Armenia in the field of e-gov/digitisation (‘Mulberry’ paperless ministry, e-civil registry, Online business registry, etc.),” said Gregory Tsouris from the EU Delegation. “We also implement a new ambitious project that aims to establish a governmental interoperability platform, enabling a simplified and standardised secure connectivity between all organisations of the public administration of Armenia, and also introducing also a One Stop Shop solution for the border crossing points.”
“The new EU4Digital regional project, recently launched by the EU Commissioner Andrus Ancip during his visit to Armenia, aims to strengthen EU-Armenia cooperation further, building on previous results and concentrating on Telecom Rules, Trust and Security, e-Trade, ICT Innovation, e-Health, and e-Skills. We are sure that the outcomes of this project will result in improved online services at better prices and with greater choice, attracting investments, boosting trade and employment, as well as strengthening cooperation with EU member states and within the Eastern Partnership,” Gregory Tsouris added.
In her opening remarks, Gayane Serobyan from the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies presented the structural changes in the government that will lead to the creation of the new Ministry of High Technology Industry, which is particularly important in context of coordination of achieved, ongoing, and planned initiatives and for the increased effectiveness of the digital sector. She stressed that one of the target objectives of the ministry would be the development, implementation and result monitoring of the digital conversion agenda of the country across the following priority areas:
- development of e-governance;
- development of digital society;
- development of digital economy;
- development of high-speed broadband and data infrastructures.
Gayane Serobyan said that in all these areas the issue of cyber security is vital.
The opening remarks were followed by a full presentation of the initiative, and a panel discussion on how EU4Digital complements other digital initiatives in Armenia and the wider region.
‘EU4Digital: supporting digital economy and society in the Eastern Partnership’ is a regional programme for the Eastern Partnership region. It began in January 2019 and will run until December 2021.
EU4Digital aims to extend the benefits of the European Union’s Digital Single Market to the Eastern Partner states, channelling EU support to develop the potential of the digital economy and society, in order to bring economic growth, generate more jobs, improve people’s lives and help businesses.
Through EU4Digital, the EU supports Eastern Partnership countries on reducing roaming tariffs, developing high-speed broadband to boost economies and expand e-services, harmonising digital frameworks across society, in areas ranging from logistics to health, building cyber security and developing digital skills.