Lluka: Kosovo is taking concrete steps towards regional digital transformation

Prishtina, 09.07.2019 - Minister of Economic Development, Valdrin Lluka, is staying in Brussels, as he is participating in the dialogue between the Western Balkan countries and the European Union countries on Information and Communication Technology, a meeting hosted by the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel.

He welcomed the launching of the Digital Agenda for the Western Balkan countries, saying we are committed to advancing regional cooperation with a view to creating a regional digital economy.

"Kosovo has welcomed the launching of the Digital Agenda for the Western Balkan Countries by the European Commission in the framework of Digital Assembly held in Sofia last year. We are committed to working together with the Western Balkan countries and the EU countries in order to make the transition of the region into a digital economy and benefit from this digital transformation in order to have faster economic growth, more jobs, and better services for our citizens", said Minister Lluka.

The head of the MED also said that the Kosovo Government considers the ICT sector as one of the most important sectors in terms of economic development and structural transformation into a knowledge-based society and economy, and that serious work is being done in the acceleration of the steps towards this transformation through infrastructure development of access to and use of ICT, strengthening of human capital in order to maximize the benefits of technology and to create an environment which is suitable for the development of the technology industry. By exporting ICT we create a great opportunity for increasing the number of employees especially amongst the young people and women.

Also, Minister Lluka revealed that the Kosovo Government has adapted its legislation to that of the EU by adapting the regulation of the collection of data on electronic communications infrastructure and that the adaptation of the EU Directive on the Reduction of Electronic Communication Costs has been completed and is expected to be launched in August 2019. Also, Kosovo has launched the process of adapting the Network and Information Security Directive and has developed the Law on Electronic Identification and Electronic Transaction Security Services.

In her speech, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, said that since the approval of the digital agenda last year in Sofia we managed to approve the first roaming agreement and then asked the ministers of the region to increase cooperation for the establishment of the digital market.

"Since the digital agenda approved in Sofia last year we have managed to have, in the course of one year only, the first roaming agreement and many EU funds are expected to be used by the Western Balkan countries which aim to help these countries in achieving the objectives of the digital economy. I ask the ministers of the region to support this sector in order to increase cooperation to create a common digital market, eliminating unnecessary bureaucratic procedures", said Mrs Gabriel.

In terms of regional interconnectivity, Mr Lluka revealed the achievements of the Kosovo Government in this regard.

"In terms of roaming, we are pleased to have reached an agreement between Western Balkan countries, which has now begun to be implemented. Also, in terms of regional interconnectivity, we are following step by step the World Bank's Balkan countries' digital networking initiative with a view to enhancing cooperation between our region, aimed at digital transformation. In the wake of many projects, we consider that the project "Women in Technology" is one of the most successful ones that has been implemented in many places around Kosovo and has provided very good practices", said Mr Lluka.

In the end, he said that the Ministry of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is promoting entrepreneurship and innovation by awarding grants and subsidies to non-governmental organizations and to small- and medium-sized enterprises.

KOSOVO IN UNESCO