08 Oct 2018

DIGITALEUROPE Director General delivers inspirational speech at High-Level Conference on Digital & e-Government in Vienna

The Austrian Presidency invited DIGITALEUROPE’s Director General Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl to speak at their High-Level Conference on digital and e-government to discuss current challenges and next steps for the Digital Single Market.

On 26 September 2018, the Austrian Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs organized a one-day conference to take stock of the Tallinn Ministerial E-Government Declaration as well as plans and next steps for the digital transformation in the European Commission. The event was opened with an inspirational speech by DIGITALEUROPE DG to outline political challenges and provide perspectives with regard to digitisation and necessary digital strategies to safeguard the competitiveness of EU Member States and European businesses.

In the margins of the event, DIGITALEUROPE organized an array of meetings with various stakeholders. To begin with, the DG met with Carmen Jeitler-Cincelli, member of the Austrian National Council and Deputy General Secretary of the Austrian Economic Union. Discussions focussed on the digital transformation of the Austrian economy and society as well as the need to reform educational systems in Austria and across Europe.

Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl also encountered representatives of the new Strategy and Planning Unit of the Federal Chancellery, so-called ‘Think Austria’. The think tank develops cross-disciplinary policy solution for mid- and long-term solutions in the area of economic, social, cultural and security policy. A third meeting took place at RTR, the Austrian Regularity Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications. CEO Johannes Gungl, who also chairs the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, and Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl elaborated on the implementation of the European Electronic Communication Code, including on the need to facilitate fast and smooth deployment of 5G in Europe.

Furthermore, DIGITALEUROPE visited the Austrian Ministry of Infrastructure, Innovation and Technology to discuss with Minister Hofer the potential of the digital economy, the need to reduce red tape to improve the framework conditions for digital business models. The DIGITALEUROPE delegation also visited the Austrian Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs to review ways to reform the educational curricula with regards to e-skills, the deployment of AI as key for competitiveness, the creation of jobs and growth as well as the Austrian and EU industrial strategy proposals.

DIGITALEUROPE and Internetoffensive, its Austrian member NTA, co-organised a lunch session with Austrian corporations to share informally perspectives and priorities on the digital transformation in Austria and at EU level at large. The lunch facilitated an exchange of views on objectives, interests and concerns in the context of currently developing legislative digital policies that will impact various European sectors.


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