February 21, 2018

SEEDIG 2018: Session 1

23 May | 09:15 – 10:30 | Best Western Premier Hotel Slon | Ljubljana, Slovenia



Data & data governance in SEE*
(S1) Digitalisation & digital policies in SEE: National priorities and regional cooperation [High-level session]

Relevant proposals


1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 20, 21, 23, 24, 39, 51, 72, 103** (see the list of proposals)



Digitalisation is a buzzword these days, but what does it actually mean for South Eastern Europe and the neighbouring area? How are countries in the region taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the Internet and digital technologies? What do they do to minimise the risks associated with the use of these technologies? And how can regional cooperation help the various actors address the challenges of digital transformation?



Regional cooperation, collaboration, digitalisation, digital transformation, digital policy,  economic and social development, multistakeholderism

Session description


As catalysts for innovation, economic growth, and social development, the Internet and digital technologies are important for the sustainable development of the region of South Eastern Europe and the neighbouring area, as well as for the protection and promotion of its rich cultural heritage. These technologies also have the potential of facilitating democratic processes and bringing more efficiency and transparency into policymaking processes.

Aware of these opportunities, countries in the region are taking steps to promote and support digital transformation across the public and private sectors, and to ensure that individuals, businesses, and governmental bodies alike can take advantage of what digital technologies have to offer.

But this digital transformation also comes with challenges, in areas such as addressing the persistent digital divide, ensuring cybersecurity and fighting cybercrime, protecting human rights online, countering hybrid threats, and tackling the risks posed by extremist content online and the spread of fake news.

If we put countries across the region under the magnifying glass, what does digital transformation actually look like at national level? Who is taking advantage of the digital dividends, and who is lagging behind? What are the national priorities when it comes to the Internet and digital technologies? What areas do different stakeholders (governments, private companies, civil society organisations, etc.) focus on to support digitalisation? What policies are countries developing and implementing to maximise the opportunities offered by digital technologies and to minimise the risks? And are these policies enough? If not, what else is needed? How are different stakeholders contributing to these policies and are their needs and interests met?

Zooming out, to what extent are the challenges of digitalisation common across the region? If there are common challenges, can countries cooperate in addressing them? Are there particular strengths the region can build upon to advance on its path to sustainable digital development? What is being done and what else is needed to make regional digital cooperation more effective? And what could this strengthened cooperation look like in a multistakeholder framework?

Session format


Interactive roundtable discussion

Main roles


Moderator: Jean-Jacques Sahel, Vice President – Stakeholder Engagement & Managing Director – Europe, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Key participants:

  • Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, European Commission, Bulgaria (video message)
  • Michał Boni, Member of the European Parliament, Poland
  • Frédéric Donck, Managing Director, European Regional Bureau, Internet Society, Belgium
  • Adrian Josip Ježina, CEO, Telemach Slovenia
  • Désirée Miloshevic, Founding Executive Director, Internet Society Serbia & Chair of the Board, ShareFoundation, Serbia
  • Cătălin Zamfira, Member of Parliament, Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of Romania

Online moderator: Tetiana Kyryliuk, The Influencer Platform, Ukraine


  • Maja Ćalović, Mediacentar Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Cătălin Vrabie, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania




The Digital Economy in Southeast Europe, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, September 2017

Key messages


(To be added after the session.)

Video recording


(To be added after the session.)

Organising team

Team leads: SEEDIG Executive Committee

Team members:

  • Fotjon Kosta, Albania IGF/Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, Albania
  • Vladimir Kukovsky, Ukrainian IGF/Ukrainian Internet Association, Ukraine
  • Irene Portela, Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave, Portugal
  • Oliana Sula, University ‘Aleksandër Moisiu’ Durrës/Estonian Business School, Albania
  • Cătălin Vrabie, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania


Contact point:

  • Sorina Teleanu, SEEDIG Executive Committee


Interested in joining this organising team? Send us an e-mail.




* Data is proposed as a cross-cutting topic for SEEDIG 2018, and an anchor to link the different sessions included in the programme. 
** The programme outline has been built considering proposals submitted during the call for issues. For each session, there is an indication of the proposals that are considered to pertain to the topic of the session. You can find the list of proposals and their corresponding ID numbers on the dedicated page