Press-Statement by Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger on plans to launch a "Digital Community" with Ukraine

Today (26.07), Günther H. Oettinger, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, and the Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman spoke at a high-level policy event in Kiev which explored the challenges and opportunities that the European Union's Digital Single Market (DSM) represents for Ukraine. On this occasion, Commissioner Oettinger said:

"I am delighted being here in Ukraine, to begin discussions on the creation of the Digital Community, which could extend the benefits of the DSM beyond EU borders. It is in the clear interest of the EU and Ukraine to cooperate closely in the digital matters for the benefit of our economies and our societies.

Prime Minister Groysman and I are inspired by the success of the Energy Community which extends the EU's internal energy market rules to countries in South-East Europe and beyond. We should develop a similar common vision of a Digital Community between the EU and Ukraine, and bring in other neighbouring countries.

Ukraine could share the benefits flowing from the DSM by approximating its national legislation to relevant EU acquis, as well as to EU principles and norms. This could apply to a variety of topics: eTrade, eCommerce, eCustoms, eGovernment, eHealth, Telecom, Rules, Digital Skills and promoting innovation, to mention some possibilities. The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement with its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, which is provisionally in force, provides a good basis for deepening our digital cooperation.

Ukraine has already played a constructive role in deepening digital cooperation with the EU and other neighbours, by endorsing the declaration of the 1stEastern Partnership Ministerial meeting on the Digital Economy in June 2015. Today's high level policy discussion aims to take our digital cooperation to the next level."

Commissioner Oettinger intends to organise a Ministerial level meeting with the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) in early autumn in Brussels in order to continue the discussion on the creation of the Digital Community.

Yesterday, Commissioner Oettinger also met Stepan Kubiv, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade, and Oleksandr Danchenko, Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament's ICT Committee to discuss cooperation in the field of digital economy and society.