Bulgaria in the Top 3 of EU Development in the IT Sector
Commissioner Mariya Gabriel: Making the digital single market a precondition for bringing Europe back as a leader in the global digital sector
The value of the information and communication technology sector for Europe’s economy has grown almost fourfold over the past decade. The highest value-added growth in the sector among EU Member States is noted in three countries, one of them being Bulgaria along with Luxembourg and Poland. This was stated by the Bulgarian commissioner for digital economy and society Mariya Gabriel at the opening of the conference “Technology and Digital Single Market: Opportunities and Challenges”. The event has provided a forum for exchanging views and ideas for enhancing Europe’s digital leadership so that citizens and business can benefit from all the benefits of digitization.
Immediately after opening, Commissioner Gabriel outlined the dimensions of the Digital Single Market, what has been achieved so far and the remaining challenges for European leadership in digitization. She highlighted several key achievements with a positive impact on almost every sector of the economy, public services, businesses and everyday life of citizens.
“The EU has created the highest standards in the world for data protection and therefore we have the same ambition to protect electronic communications. The abolition of roaming tariffs has led to Europeans having more than five times more mobile data abroad and 2.5 times more in terms of calls, “the Bulgarian commissioner reports.
With regard to ongoing initiatives, Maria Gabriel emphasizes the impending elimination of the unjustified blocking of geography of online sales by the end of this year, the cyber security package, the European supercomputer initiative, measures against online misinformation and illegal content on the Internet, support for SMEs and start-ups – all initiatives to increase the benefits of digitization for citizens and business.
Along with the benefits, the Commissioner noted the challenges that digital transformation brings to the labor market, privacy and security. “Europe remains the leader in R & D – 20% of it is happening on European territory, but we still do not manage to become a leader in market innovation and entrepreneurship, we need to invest more in key areas such as cyber security, digital skills, artificial intelligence, digitization of businesses to strengthen our ability to compete with big markets like American and Chinese, “said Mariya Gabriel. According to her, the analysis of large volumes of data combined with artificial intelligence and the necessary computing capabilities can improve the way it designs, manufactures and delivers a product or service. Improving areas such as health, transport, energy or public services also depends to a large extent on innovation and digital technologies.
“The Digital Single Market is a joint project whose success depends on the efforts of the many responsible players. We need the input of the technical and academic circles, the citizens and the business, to ensure that we are prepared to adjust our approach to the speed of development but we need sufficient funding for that Including in the long-term budget 2021-2027 the new Digital Europe program with a proposed budget of EUR 9.2 billion and all the remaining digitization funds totaling EUR 28 billion is a prerequisite to back Europe as a leader in the global digital scene and citizens and businesses feel the real benefits of digital transformation, “ said the Bulgarian commissioner for the digital economy and society Mariya Gabriel.