EC Expands Connectivity in Eastern Partnership Countries
On June 11, 2015, the first Eastern Partnership (EaP) Ministerial Meeting on Digital Economy took place in Luxembourg. The Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in close cooperation with the European Commission organized the meeting. Anrijs Matīss, Minister of Transport of Latvia, and Andrus Ansip, Commission's Vice President, co–chaired the meeting.
Among the participants were EU Ministers responsible for the Digital Economy, their representatives, and their counterparts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
Mr Ansip outlined the plan to make the EU's single market fit for the digital age. He also pointed out that the closer digital integration offers great potential for trade growth and wider economic cooperation between the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries.
The Commission signed a €13 million contract to expand connectivity in the Eastern Partnership countries. As a result, this project will create a regional high–speed internet network dedicated to research and education (R&E) across Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
The Scientific and Technological Association Infopark represented the Belarusian side. Alongside with its long–term Lithuanian partner, the Infobalt Association, they submitted an initiative titled Harmonising Digital Markets between EaP Partner Countries and with the EU (HDM initiative). The initiative was a key point for discussion at the Ministerial meeting in Luxembourg. This resulted in adoption of a declaration for further development of the HDM initiative.
Read more: First Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy