European Union, Jordan and Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministers in charge of the Digital Economy launch new digital cooperation initiatives
Brussels | 30 September 2014
Explicit support for EUMEDCONNECT3 project and ASREN
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Digital Economy Ministers and representatives of ministries, the UfM Secretariat, telecoms regulators, development banks and EU institutions pledged today closer cooperation to reap the benefits of the digital economy for Euro-Mediterranean citizens, consumers and businesses.
Gathered in Brussels for today's Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministerial meeting, participants agreed to forge closer ties on the use of open data and e-government, and to step-up dialogue between national telecoms regulators around the Mediterranean. They also agreed to improve connectivity between scientific and research communities and to work on a long-term eHealth cooperation strategy.
The Heads of Delegation adopted an achievable, forward-looking and focused declaration which responds to the rapid pace of digital change and the huge potential of the digital technologies for the economy and society. They committed to:
Build closer ties to foster the use of open data and e-government, leaning on the principles already developed in the 2013 G8 Open Data Charter such as open data by default;
Boost e-infrastructures connectivity between scientific and research communities –also as a means of exploiting open data;
Establish a regular recommendations-based dialogue between functionally independent telecoms regulators and Euro-Mediterranean ICT Ministries in order to create a harmonized, pro-competitive and investment-friendly environment in the sector, and to accelerate the development of the EU-Southern Mediterranean Information Society;
Through the UfM, to promote more cross-border business through the use of electronic business transactions and eSignatures;
Work on a long-term cooperation strategy for e-Health and to expand the deployment of e-Health solutions; and
Support the current global discussions on Internet governance.
Excerpts of the The UfM Ministerial Declaration on the Digital Economy:
1. The Ministers agreed that the ICT solutions are crucial to address economic and societal challenges. They underlined:
Both the potential and the challenges posed by the development of the Digital Economy;
The opportunity in the area of cooperation in the development of digital services, in particular open data, big data, and e-infrastructures. In this respect it is necessary to have further public and private investment in increasing the interconnection between Mediterranean and European connectivity systems and research networks in order to facilitate and achieve the mutually beneficial exchange and sustained interconnection between Mediterranean education and research networks within and between regions, and the access to and use of educational, health, scientific and research resources (e-infrastructures), while respecting national sovereignty interests;
3. The Ministers also expressed their explicit support to the ongoing work streams and projects related to the Digital Economy of the Mediterranean such as:
The connections between Mediterranean countries, in particular through the jointly funded project EUMEDCONNECT, and the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN). The Ministers agreed that the connection of the research and education networks to the European network GÉANT is highly beneficial and that increased funding for this purpose is necessary in order to develop ultra-high speed connectivity between the EU and the Mediterranean.