EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel attends Digital Romania International Forum in Bucharest: Europe’s future will be digital or “won’t be at all”; Romania a winner due to dynamism and startup network

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The European future will be digital or “won’t be at all” and Romania will be a winner due to its dynamism and startup network, while the region Romania is a part of also has a major impact on the development of this field, European Commissioner for Economic and Digital Society Mariya Gabriel stated on Tuesday.

She participated in the Digital Romania International Forum in the Capital City and confessed that she was “touched by the dynamism, motivation, commitment and vision” of some of the Romanian IT experts.

“The European future will be digital. Europe will become digital or it will cease to exist,” she said, and also pointed out that “Romania is a legitimate winner of this process, due to its dynamism and network of startups created in such top fields of activity.”

She also recalled that last year “Financial Times” published an eulogious article about the startups in Romania. Thus, in the European Commissioner’s opinion, the country already has “an exceptional foundation” for education in science. “The entire world started to realize that Romania is a software supplier that exports very often,” said Mariya Gabriel said, also adding that the proof for this are the 40 million euro invested this year in Romania in the startups in the area of activity.

She also said that “the models of excellency are visible in South-East Europe.” Moreover, the European Commissioner spoke about the importance of integrating the countries in the Western Balkans.

More than this, the European official showed that “it is very important that this region gets mobilized to create digital hubs.”

The EU official also said that 300 million euros are available at EU level for the next three years and 100 million will be invested in innovation, “in order to help startups develop.”

However, supplementary efforts are still necessary, she appreciated, since there are some “worrying” figures regarding the population’s digital competencies.

She said that 80 million Europeans have never used Internet.

In the end, the European Commissioner spoke about the Central and South-East Europe’s capacity to bring a major contribution to the European digital future.

“I know this region very well. I know its challenges. But first of all I am aware of the force and advantages of it. This is a region that can and must play a major part in the building of Europe’s digital future,” Mariya Gabriel said.

 

US Ambassador Klemm: “Explosion” of activities in Romania’s digital economy, however not evenly spread

 

There is an “explosion” of activities in Romania’s digital economy, however it is not evenly spread, as in Romania one can find both the highest internet speed and also places that lack coverage, U.S. Ambassador in Bucharest Hans Klemm stated on Tuesday at the Digital Romania International Forum.

There is an explosion of activities in Romania’s digital economy, however (…) this ‘explosion’ is not evenly spread. In certain parts of Romania there is the highest internet speed but there are also places which lack coverage or there is very weak internet coverage. Romanian children are educated to become top participants in the digital economy but there are also many children in Romania’s rural area who are left behind, the diplomat pointed out.

He also talked about figures that reflect the use of digital means in the governing process.

“While we are talking about excellency islands in Romania’s e-governing, generally speaking, the use of digital tools at Government level is below the European Union average,’ he said.

The U.S. official also spoke about the United States efforts to uphold innovation in the digital domain in Romania.

 

Ambassador Samash: Romania, Israel are committed to extend bilateral cooperation in domains such cyber technology

 

In her turn, Israel’s Ambassador in Bucharest Tamar Samash argued that this topic of Romania’s digital industry was also tackled last week at the meeting between the Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister, Teodor Melescanu and the Israeli premier, Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to Ambassador Samash, the two high ranking officials “discussed about the opportunities in the innovation field and agreed to extend bilateral cooperation in domains such cyber technology.”