26 September 2023

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Central Eastern Europe has to have a greater impact on the EU’s digital policy – experts argued during Warsaw’s digital summit

Representatives of the digital sector from 12 Central Eastern European countries met in Warsaw to discuss the digital agenda of the region and the entire European Union. This has been the 4 th edition of the CEE Digital Summit, an international conference highlighting the role and position of CEE on the digital single market. Digital sector association of Ukraine has officially joined the regional industry coalition during the event.

Acceleration of the digital transformation of economy and society in Central Eastern Europe is the main goal of CEE Digital Coalition, uniting the digital sector of the region. Coalition was formed in 2020 at the initiative of Digital Poland Association. During the recent CEE Digital Summit Warsaw 2023, another year of the coalition’s cooperation was summarized and the most pressing technological and political challenges ahead of the region were discussed.
Every autumn, we meet in Warsaw with industry representatives and policymakers from across the region. This annual meeting allows us to identify the most significant current tasks and prepare for the challenges of the coming years – Michał Kanownik, President of Digital Poland Association said - This time, we discussed, the changing role of the CEE Member States in shaping the EU digital policies and the priorities in terms of building the digital economy of CEE. Our goal is to get the countries of the region more involved in issues concerning EU’s digital projects and to cooperate closer – Michał Kanownik added.

Ukraine joins the coalition
Since 2020 18 organizations from 11 CEE countries were involved in the Coalition’s activity. During the CEE Digital Summit Warsaw 2023, the first organization from Ukraine joined the initiative. - When the war is over, Ukraine will have to rebuild in many areas. Today, every sector of the economy includes a vital digital technology component. Digitalisation will undoubtedly be the driving force behind the country's reconstruction - Tetiana Ilieva, representant of IT Ukraine Association said. Apart from industry organizations’ representatives, government representatives from Poland, Ukraine and Romania appeared in Warsaw as well as diplomats from Czechia’s, Estonia’s and Romania’s embassies in Poland. - We have established a real friendship in Central and Eastern Europe. We share common goals and face the same challenges. Sometimes we have different interests, but we agree that these challenges must be answered with a joint effort – Undersecretary of State from the Ministry of Digitalization, Paweł Lewandowski said during the panel discussion on “The role of CEE in achieving European growth and competitiveness”. - The Three Seas Initiative must cooperate, at the same pace, leaving no partner behind - Marius Viorel Poșa, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization of Romania added.

Mark Boris Andrijanič awarded CEE Digital Trident
Second ever CEE Digital Trident was awarded during the event. The award established to show industry’s appreciation of true challengers making an effort for CEE’s progress on its path of digital transformation was given to Mark Boris Andrijanič – member of the EIT Governing Board, former Minister for Digital Transformation of Slovenia for his achievements as “ambassador of digital transformation in an entrepreneurial spirit and respect for human rights”. - I would like to dedicate the award to the brave defenders of Ukraine and the digital community of Central and Eastern Europe who supported the Ukrainians from the first days of the war – Andrijanič said in his acceptance speech.

It has been announced that the next summit will also take place in Warsaw.