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Shaping Europe’s digital future
Event report | Publication

Western Balkans work jointly on improving digital transformation

The 5th Western Balkans Digital summit took place in Pristina, Kosovo, the 21 and 22 September 2022

banner of the conference

Ministers from across the Western Balkans with a portfolio on digital policy and representatives of the European Union participated in the 5th Western Balkans Digital Summit in Pristina. Inaugurated by Roberto Viola, Director General of DG Connect, Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, the summit focused on challenges and latest developments to support a successful digital transformation of the region.

Western Balkans countries (WB) appreciated the launch of the Regulatory Dialogue between the EU and WB and agreed to work on transformative policies within digital and green transition goals. Participants recognised the benefits for citizens brought by the WB regional roaming free regime and committed to work towards a reduction of roaming charges, including for data, between the EU and the Western Balkans.

The start of the negotiations on Western Balkans accession to the Digital Europe Programme was also highlighted.

On Artificial Intelligence (AI), Western Balkans committed to establish high-level regional Working Group, which will work on all aspects of AI to ensure synergies with the EU. To better face cybersecurity threats, the WB decided to improve cooperation within the region but also with the EU, in particular the European Commission and the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity. The aim is to increase protection of critical infrastructure, preventing and detecting cyber threats as well as detecting and effectively responding to incidents.

To better monitor the progress of digital transformation in the region, WB will participate to the annual reporting on Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) for the Western Balkans in accordance with the EU DESI methodology.