The CEE Digital Summit organized by the Digital Poland Association, was held in Warsaw on October 13. The event was attended by numerous business leaders in the field of new technologies, decision-makers and representatives of government administration from Poland, Czech and Slovenia, embassy representatives from Ukraine and Estonia, MEPs, representatives of associations and scientists.
The meeting was devoted to the analysis of the current state and prospects for the development of the digital market in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. The participants looked for possible platforms for cooperation, as well as identified challenges facing the digitalization of the region. During the discussion, a number of issues and challenges were presented in key areas related to the legislative process of creating Digital Single Market in the EU, Cybersecurity, Transatlantic cooperation on the digital market areas, as well as the perspectives for the development of the CEE region.
Michał Kanownik, President of the Board of The Digital Poland Association, in his opening speech, emphasized the importance of developing compromise solutions in the EU legislative process of legal acts regarding the digital products and services, artificial intelligence management systems and chips, which are intended to support innovation and economic development not burdens.
One of the summit topic panel was devoted to the challenge of Digital Transformation of CEE.
The panel participants were:
- Andrzej Dopierała, President, Asseco Data Systems;
- Michal Kardos, Slovak Alliance for Innovative Economy (SAPIE);
- Justyna Orłowska, Plenipotentiary of the Prime Minister for GovTech, the Chancellery of the Prime Minister Republic of Poland;
- Edijs Tanons, Latvian Information and Communication Technology Association (LIKTA);
- Ziga Turk, Professor, Former Minister responsible for information society, Slovenia;
- Michał Giersz – moderator.
The development of the region was presented from the perspective of the public sector, aspects of the conducted research analyses, as well as the view of business representatives on the observed direction of digital transformation. During the discussion, important issues related to the environment of the region were raised, strengths and weaknesses were listed. Opportunities and threats were also presented. CEE is a very homogenous region in terms of social, cultural and historical importance. However, in terms of the development of the digital market, it is a very diverse area. A good example of effective implementation of innovations and modern technological solutions can be seen in Slovenia and Estonia, with a well-developed system of public digital services (e-government).
The discussion drew attention to the issue of cooperation between public administration and the private sector in the context of public procurement. From the perspective of business leaders, public procurement creates many problems due to complex legal procedures. The pragmatic approach of the public sector creates a barrier to cooperation between the public and private sectors. According to Justyna Orłowska, representative of the GovTech Polska project, public administration has taken many steps towards solutions and legal tools to create a friendly public procurement system for SMEs and start-ups. It is important to create an open source of access to information in the public sector and to enable the exchange of information not only at the national but also at regional level.
Diversity of the CEE region countries in terms of digitization may be a challenge, but it is also an opportunity for development and increasing the competitiveness of the region. The panel participants noted that many small and medium-sized business entrepreneurs do not understand the legislative process regarding the creation of the legal framework for the digital market (DSA, DMA, AI ACT). There is also a lack of sufficient knowledge and know-how to use the available data and technology resources. However, the potential of CEE is underestimated due to its geostrategic location, which may become a link between Europe and third countries in building Europe's digital economy.
Summing up the discussion, the participants of the panel unanimously concluded that the legal regulations for CEE are extremely important, and the development of cooperation between the public and private sectors is the key to the digital transformation of the region. Therefore, new platforms should be created for cooperation with all representatives of society.