Key Belarusian stakeholders came together in Minsk on 5 September 2019 to hear about the work of EU4Digital in Belarus, in a launch event highlighting the impact of the EU-funded initiative on citizens and businesses.
The aim of the event – organised with the support of the Delegation of the European Union to Belarus and the Ministry of Communications and Informatisation of the Republic of Belarus – was to present the EU4Digital project as a flagship initiative channelling a broad range of actions in support of the digital economy and society in the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine).
The meeting was addressed by Berend de Groot, Chargé d’affaires of the Delegation of the European Union to Belarus and by Kanstantsin Shulhan, Minister of Communications and Informatisation of the Republic of Belarus.
“EU4Digital offers attractive opportunities for Belarus to seek better harmonisation with the EU digital markets,”De Groot told the audience. “The Project aims to benefit Belarusian citizens through better communication and improved access to e-services, and on-line commerce.”
Minister Shulban stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation in the digital sphere between the Republic of Belarus and other Eastern Partnership countries, as well as with the European Union, including in the framework of the EU4Digital initiative.
“The relevance of this regional project is also due to the fact that currently there is an objective need for more active development of mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of digital technologies, as well as further harmonisation of digital markets,”he said, adding: “This will accelerate the social development and economic growth of the Eastern Partnership countries in order to remove existing obstacles and barriers for providing common digital services for citizens, government agencies and businesses, which ultimately will contribute to providing more efficient and diverse services at optimal prices, increasing the volume of attracted foreign investment, as well as stimulating trade and employment.”
The opening remarks were followed by a full presentation of the Project, and a panel discussion on how EU4Digital complements other digital initiatives in Belarus.
‘EU4Digital: supporting digital economy and society in the Eastern Partnership’ is a regional project 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.
Photo: EU4Digital team leader Arturas Piliponis presenting the project in Minsk