05 October 2023

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Central and Eastern European, Spanish digital industry appeals to European leaders: let's strengthen transatlantic cooperation in digital areas

10 digital industry organizations from 8 Central Eastern European countries, including Poland, addressed an appeal to the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and other European leaders to strengthen transatlantic cooperation in strategic areas, including the development of new technologies. In their opinion, a market open to trade with countries such as the United States, Israel and South Korea will attract more investments to Europe, help developing local start-ups and promote innovation. The appeal was also supported by the Spanish digital industry.

The open letter was published in regard to the informal gathering of European Union leaders taking place on Friday (October 6) in Granada, Spain. The statement is a result of the recent discussions of the digital industry of Central and Eastern Europe held during two largest conferences in the region held in September - the Three Seas Initiative Summit and Business Forum in Bucharest, as well as the regional digital industry gathering in Warsaw (CEE Digital Summit). The letter was signed by organizations representing the new technologies sector from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Hungary, cooperating in the CEE Digital Coalition. The appeal of partners from Central and Eastern Europe was also supported by the Spanish digital industry. Spain currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Digitalization driving the European Union’s growth
According to signatories of the letter, digital transformation, innovation and new technologies are the key to economic growth of Europe. Authors of the letter cite data from the latest report by the Polish Economic Institute and the CEE Digital Coalition, which shows that the ICT sector of Central and Eastern Europe is among the most dynamically growing economy branches. Currently, it provides a total of 1,64 million jobs. Its value is estimated at nearly 5 percent of the entire GDP of the region. However, in order to continue this technological progress - in the opinion of industry representatives - further investments in innovation, including artificial intelligence, as well as extensive support for digital start-ups emerging on the continent are necessary. However, this cannot be achieved without close cooperation, the organizations argue. " If Europe wants to be a leader in digital services, now and in the near future, we need to collaborate with both EU and non-EU organizations that develop information and communication technologies and services, with the aim to attract talent and smart investment to Europe". the letter stressed.

Transatlantic cooperation in four strategic areas
11 digital industry organizations jointly call on EU leaders to strengthen their partnership with the United States on strategic issues, including in terms of public-private partnerships. Signatories highlight that as of now, American-based investors are responsible for 76 percent of all foreign investments in European technological companies. Europe, in turn, is the leading exporter of digital services to the US and vice versa. Such cooperation translates into trade worth USD 3,75 million annually and over 16 million jobs on both continents.

Digital technology should remain one of the key areas for close transatlantic cooperation, according to the organizations signed under the open letter, belonging to the CEE Digital Coalition. In their opinion, the partnership between the US and the EU should be strongly based in the promotion of technological and cybersecurity innovations. The industry also believes that the transatlantic relations should also boost the industry exchange and trade (to stimulate economic growth on both sides), climate (by harmonizing climate policies and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy), as well as the energy and automotive industries (through joint investments in electric vehicles). " strong belief that by strengthening the transatlantic cooperation and safeguarding trade openness we ensure further development of the digital sector, while still achieving open strategic autonomy" - the letter by the digital industry from Central and Eastern Europe and Spain reads.

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