The European Union and its Member States have launched the Digital for Development (D4D) platform for EU neighboring countries to strengthen their regional digital engagement. The aim of the D4D Hub in neighboring EU countries will be to increase the impact of the efforts of the EU and its Member States to promote human-centered digital transformation, driven by the needs of people, fundamental rights and intersectional challenges to close the digital divide between the EU and its partners.
The D4D Hub will serve as a strategic platform for our regional partners to actively engage with the European Union and its Member States, discuss common digital priorities and identify concrete opportunities to advance cooperation .
The announcement was made during the 6th Western Balkans Digital Summit held in Sarajevo on October 4-5, 2023. The event brought together key regional partners, such as the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), and national governments to build a common vision of a digitally empowered society. Western Balkans. European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Olivér Várhelyi, said: “We are intensifying our engagement in digital and increasing investments in priority areas. This is why we are launching a new branch of the Digital for Development (D4D) Hub for neighboring EU countries to strengthen cooperation and coordinate engagement between the EU, its Member States and our partner regions.
Launched in December 2020 by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and several heads of state, the D4D Hub already has activities in the Eastern Neighborhood, sub-Saharan Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean. Over the past years, the D4D Hub has become one of the key instruments for increasing multi-stakeholder collaboration, facilitating knowledge sharing and incubating joint initiatives, investments and innovations in the digital domain. As part of its inaugural initiative, the D4D Hub organized a side event dedicated to the Western Balkans Digital Summit, bringing together representatives of the European Commission and members of the D4D Hub with their counterparts from the Western Balkans region. At the meeting, the priorities and prospects of the new branch were discussed. Additionally, similar discussions will take place in various regional dialogues in the future.