Bulgaria has the potential to be a driver of positive changes in South Eastern Europe related to the European Commission’s plans for a Digital Single Market, President Rossen Plevneliev said after talks with Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Digital Single Market.
Plevneliev highlighted the good traditions that Bulgaria has in IT and programming as an advantage of the country, a media statement by the President’s office said.
He said that Bulgaria has the ambition to become a regional hub for nformation and communication technologies (ICT).
“We consider the ICT clusters as an important part of the development of the Bulgarian economy,” Plevneliev said at the meeting.
He said that Sofia ranks third among the most attractive places in Europe for start-ups after London and Dublin, and Sofia Tech Park is a one-of-a-kind “innovative ecosystem” in the region.
Plevneliev said that the development of the Digital Single Market will be beneficial mostly for the people, and also for the SMEs, which would get easier access not only to the digital market, but also to more top quality administrative services.
“Integration and connectivity is the only road for the EU to achieve success,” he said.
Plevneliev said that he has always encouraged the development of e-governance and added that Bulgaria has a good basis for providing electronic administrative services.
“The most important issue is how we can unite all administrative services in one platform,” he said, adding that this would save not only people’s time and money, but also that of business.
Ansip said that the creation of the Digital Single Market may contribute to a further growth of the EU worth 340 billion euro.
Although in physical terms the EU has a single market, in digital terms there are 28 small markets with different regulatory frameworks and this sets up barriers, Ansip said.
He outlined three key sectors efforts on which there would be a focus in developing a Digital Single Market. These include ensuring easy access of consumers and enterprises to digital goods and services, building an appropriate infrastructure and the establishment of specific standards in the industry.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, meeting Ansip on April 21, said that the accelerated development of e-Government is among the priorities of the Cabinet, a government media statement said.
Borissov said that purposeful work in this direction would be beneficial to citizens, businesses, and the economy as a whole.
According to Borissov, the introduction of e-government is key to the success of sector reforms.
Borissov said that Bulgaria’s advantages included broadband internet, the allocation of resources to expand access to it, as well as the good IT specialists in Bulgaria, the government statement said.
Ansip congratulated Borissov on the hard work by his cabinet on the issue, emphasising that it was important for Bulgaria to be active in the development of the Digital Single Market, the statement said.
(Photo of Ansip and Plevneliev: president.bg)