Background of the Digital Summit

As recent EU’s Tallinn Digital Summit assessed, it is essential for Europe to embrace technological change in order to ensure a prosperous and sustainable future for its citizens and that technological transformation and digitalisation profoundly affect jobs, industries, education and welfare systems. Exactly the same conclusion applies to the Western Balkans.

Following the Western Balkans Summit in Trieste in July 2017, upon the request of the Western Balkans Six Prime Ministers a Multi-Annual Action Plan for a Regional Economic Area in the Western Balkans (MAP) has been developed, to prepare a proposal for a joint approach to furthering economic cooperation in the Western Balkans. The MAP puts forward a structured agenda for regional economic integration, along the lines proposed by the Leader’s Meeting, namely: promoting further trade integration, introducing a dynamic regional investment space, facilitating regional mobility, and creating a digital integration agenda. The Regional Cooperation Council has been tasked to monitor and inform on the progress achieved in MAP implementation.

The Digital integration component of the MAP envisages that Digital Summit for the Western Balkans should be organized annually together with the European Commission, the Regional Cooperation Council and business representatives, in order to combine existing efforts and to develop recommendations for the future cooperation among the Western Balkans.

“Digital integration” – as one of the components of the MAP outlines the use of digital technologies as the driving force for the way we do business and interact with WB6 authorities. Therefore, the WB6 Summit discussions can use the structure of the EU IT platform and consider a longer time-frame (up to 2025) and be focused on the essential topics of building a digital future for Europe: trust, security, e-government, industry, society and the economy.