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Minister Boštjan Koritnik presents priorities of Slovenian Presidency at EU Telecommunications Council meeting

Today, the Minister of Public Administration Boštjan Koritnik attended the EU Telecommunications Council meeting in Luxembourg, where he presented the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency in the field of digitisation. At the meeting, ministers took note of the state of play of legislative proposals on data management, cyber security, ePrivacy, roaming on mobile communications networks in the European Union (roaming) and artificial intelligence. There was also a political debate on the European Union’s digital future.

Slovenia has placed digitisation, AI development and cybersecurity at the top of its EU Council Presidency priorities. “We will support such development that will ensure greater digital autonomy for the EU. This includes improving connectivity, developing a secure, efficient and resilient digital infrastructure, including 5G, improving digital skills, accessible digital public services, and creating a favourable environment for the development, testing and use of new technologies,” said Minister Koritnik in his presentation, adding: “We will also strive for an appropriate level of security and privacy, consistent respect for human rights and ethical principles and this also regularly and appropriately communicate with all citizens.”

In order to achieve the objectives of digital transformation and autonomy, the areas of artificial intelligence and data will be of particular importance during the Slovenian Presidency. The focus will be on the progress of the negotiations on the Artificial Intelligence Act, which will provide a general framework for further regulation in this area, formally define AI and limit the risks posed by its wider use. In the area of re-use, processing, and exchange of data, as well as data economy, the Presidency will continue work on the Data Governance Act and start work on the Data Act.

In his presentation, the Minister also focused on ensuring cybersecurity. “We need to improve the integration of the cyber dimension into a comprehensive crisis response. Given the high exposure of the Union in cases of cyber threat to its immediate neighbourhood, Slovenia will also support cyber capacity building in the Western Balkan countries," added Koritnik.

Under the Presidency, the Ministry of Public Administration will prepare a number of important events. One of the first is titled “EU as a community of people”. It will take place on 8 July 2021 to discuss the digitalisation of cities and villages. In September, Slovenia will host two extremely important conferences under its Presidency: Cybersecurity Conference from 2 to 3 September 2021 and an Artificial Intelligence Conference from 14 to 15 September 2021. The two conferences will be organised and carried out together with the European Commission.

At the meeting, Minister Koritnik also welcomed the Digital Compass for 2030, in which the European Commission will dedicate significant resources to Europe’s recovery from the Covid crisis. This programme places particular emphasis on the digital skills of citizens and highly skilled staff in digital technologies, safe and sustainable digital infrastructure, digital transformation of businesses and digitisation of public services.

As regards to the Roaming Regulation, the Minister stressed that additional new measures should ensure transparency, quality of services and access to emergency communications for end-users while roaming.

The Slovenian delegation took the opportunity and held a number of bilateral meetings aimed mainly at presenting the Presidency’s priorities.