The UfM Secretariat is working together with relevant partners and stakeholders to advance actions identified in the UfM Ministerial Declaration on Digital Economy. The main objective is to remove the regional barriers in the digital sector, namely e-trust services including e-signatures, e-health, connectivity for research & education institutions, harmonisation of digital economy-related legal frameworks, in particular telecommunications and open data.
The UfM Secretariat hosted the inaugural “Digital Economy and Internet Access Expert Working Group (DEWoG)” meeting on 9-10 December 2015 in Barcelona. The meeting was the first step to implement the Ministerial Declaration. The outcomes of the meeting were an agreement by consensus on DEWoG’s Rules of Procedures, a Workplan for 2016 and a list of permanent observers.
Digital Economy Ministers and representatives of ministries, the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), telecom regulators, development banks and EU institutions gathered in Brussels on the 30th of September 2014. They pledged closer cooperation to reap the benefits of the digital economy as a key tool for social and economic development, and a creator of growth and jobs around the Mediterranean. They adopted a Declaration which lists a non-limitative number of focused actions and which responds to the pace of digital changes and the potential of the digital technologies for the economy and society. They welcomed the contribution that key partners and stakeholders can make to ensure that the UfM is focusing on the right issues and that it has the means to achieve results. They also called for the establishment of a Euro-Mediterranean “Digital Economy and Internet Access Expert Working Group” (DEWoG) to foster the Digital Economy.
The long-term objective of the DEWoG is to enhance national and regional capacities for strategic planning and implementation resulting in concrete projects, which will materialise in the full deployment of the Digital Economy in the region. The DEWoG will reflect on the ways to assess progress towards this objective, as appropriate, in view of providing recommendations to the Senior Officials and/or other relevant parties.
The next DEWoG meeting is scheduled for spring 2016 in Barcelona.
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