Western Balkans Digital Summit: digital skills crucial to building resilience
Podgorica, 11-13 October
The 4th Western Balkan (WB6) Digital Summit is taking place from 11 until 13 October 2021 in Podgorica, Montenegro. The Summit is promoting the Western Balkans digital perspective in the context of EU integration, while drawing the Path Ahead in the Digital Agenda, in order to prioritize the key objectives for the region. The Digital Summit covers 4 main platforms: Network & Services Connectivity, Trust and Security, Digital Skills and Digital Economy.
Today, the session on Digital Skills for Smart and Inclusive Growth addressed ways to reduce the digital divide and to advance efforts to create quality, equitable and resilient education systems based on smart use of digital technologies. Despite the massive setback caused by the pandemic, education systems across the region have shown the ability to rise to the challenge and quickly adapt and adjust to ensure continuity of learning but equity and quality gaps persist. Accelerating digital education and skills in the Western Balkan region is thus a key step towards ensuring resilience, recovery and future economic growth in line with the region’s ambitions for EU accession and for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The ETF took an active role in the session in which the ETF’s Ulrike Damyanovic, Focal Point for the region and Country Coordinator for Montenegro, highlighted how ETF is concretely working with economies in the region by facilitating the use of European Commission tools, such as the SELFIE tool, and by providing policy advice to key stakeholders on their use. In addition, the ETF is working with ERISEE on the skill needs of teachers and with schools on leadership development. Damyanovic also brought attention to the ETF’s work with representatives from the private sector and reviews of economic sectors and their skill needs, such as studies on the energy sector in Albania, and green skill needs in Serbia and North Macedonia.
"Our work is based on a long experience of cooperation and partnership with all stakeholders in the region, and care for people and their peace and prosperity", concluded Damyanovic.
The 4th Western Balkan (WB6) Digital Summit is held in the framework of the Berlin Process and the Common Regional Market Action Plan for the Western Balkans adopted in Sofia in November 2020.
This Summit brings together high-level representatives of the Governments from the Western Balkan economies, the European Commission (EC), the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), business community and relevant stakeholders. On the third day a high level meeting is gathering the WB6 prime ministers on the common path of digital transformation and integration process.
Good practices are being showcased to highlight the achievements and outcomes in the Western Balkans of the Digital Agenda, and exploring possibilities of building partnerships with the private sector, in the context of the digital transformation process.