Brussels, 30 September 2014
The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministerial Meeting on Digital Economy will take place in Brussels on 30 September 2014. The meeting will be co-chaired by the European Union and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, co-presidencies of the Union for the Mediterranean.
The most recent Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Meeting on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was held in Cairo in February 2008. During the past six years ICT has continued to develop rapidly, enabling humankind to address a number of societal challenges. The Internet is now omnipresent, creating both opportunities and challenges, and the demand for ICT applications is quickly growing.
In parallel, recent changes in the Arab world have marked a historical milestone in the Southern Mediterranean countries and opened up new cooperation opportunities which can be promoted at the Ministerial level. Moreover, relevant stakeholders who help societies reap the benefits of the Digital Economy – ranging from experts and regulators to investors – have specifically called for support. In the UfM they have found a renewed and effective forum for bringing issues to the attention of Ministers and securing that support.
These developments bring with them new challenges and, above all, new cooperation opportunities that can be explored and channeled through a Ministerial meeting. The opportunities at hand include but are not limited to the following areas: trusted services for the promotion of e-business, strengthened regulatory cooperation, Internet governance, exploring the benefits of open data, e-health and enhancing the opportunities of common research networks.
A declaration is expected to be adopted at the end of the Ministerial meeting, providing political support for cooperation along the agreed lines within the framework of the UfM.