Günther H. Oettinger, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, visited Kyiv on July 25-26. He and the Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman spoke at a high-level policy event in Kyiv which explored the challenges and opportunities that the European Union’s Digital Single Market (DSM) represents for Ukraine.
Commissioner Oettinger and Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman
On this occasion, Commissioner Oettinger said: “I am delighted being here in Ukraine, to begin discussions on the creation of the Digital Community, which could extend the benefits of the DSM beyond EU borders. It is in the clear interest of the EU and Ukraine to cooperate closely in the digital matters for the benefit of our economies and our societies.
Prime Minister Groysman and I are inspired by the success of the Energy Community which extends the EU’s internal energy market rules to countries in South-East Europe and beyond. We should develop a similar common vision of a Digital Community between the EU and Ukraine, and bring in other neighbouring countries.
Ukraine could share the benefits flowing from the DSM by approximating its national legislation to relevant EU acquis, as well as to EU principles and norms. This could apply to a variety of topics: eTrade, eCommerce, eCustoms, eGovernment, eHealth, Telecom, Rules, Digital Skills and promoting innovation, to mention some possibilities. The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement with its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, which is provisionally in force, provides a good basis for deepening our digital cooperation.
Ukraine has already played a constructive role in deepening digital cooperation with the EU and other neighbours, by endorsing the declaration of the 1st Eastern Partnership Ministerial meeting on the Digital Economy in June 2015. Today’s high level policy discussion aims to take our digital cooperation to the next level.”
The EU Digital Single Market (DSM) is one, which ensures free movement of persons, services and capital. Individuals and businesses can easily access and exercise online activities under fair competition and high level of consumer and personal data protection, irrespective of their nationality or residence. DSM requires better access to online goods and services, both for people and businesses. The European Commission has identified completion of the Digital Single Market among its 10 political priorities. The EC counts that this could contribute €415 billion per year to the EU economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
First vice prime minister of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv said that Ukraine’s accession to the European digital community will allow Ukraine raising about €5 billion “already in 2017”.
“We have already been building digital economy,” says Dmytro Shymkiv, deputy head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine. We have in total over 100 thousand IT-specialists and potential for increase in their number up to 200 thousand. It means that we have been, are and will remain a key element of the world digital society. Today, we produce lots of innovations in demand abroad.”
Commissioner Oettinger intends to organise a Ministerial level meeting with the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) in early autumn in Brussels in order to continue the discussion on the creation of the Digital Community.
All photos – www.kmu.gov.ua