Towards Digital Leadership in the Western Balkans: Setting the Priorities for the next five years

The European Union and the Western Balkans have embarked on a journey towards a common future. With increasing challenges faced by the Western Balkans in their digitalisation path, the EU needs to reinforce engagement in digital transformation with Western Balkan partners. Amidst the current geopolitical environment and with the strategic importance of digital technologies, this partnership is of key significance. If done right, it can generate ample mutual benefits and pave the way for future integration of Western Balkans with the EU.

Western Balkans face several hurdles on their path to digital transformation, such as a shortage of digitally skilled workers, infrastructure needs and a varied level of digitalisation of government services. In response, the EU hopes to demonstrate that it can be a reliable partner in the era of the digital revolution. Furthermore, the EU agreed in May to set up a Reform and Growth Facility for the Western Balkans, a new instrument to support EU-related reforms and economic growth in the region, with a focus on integration of the region into the Digital Single Market.

It is in this context that the European DIGITAL SME Alliance proposes A New Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans with five policy recommendations promoting the EU’s human-centred approach to digital technologies. These recommendations also put at the centre the needs of the EU’s Western Balkan partners.

The event featured an exchange with relevant EU and national policymakers, and Western Balkans partners with a dedicated panel discussion to address the need to build innovative and digital entrepreneurship in the region.

Did you miss anything about the event? Check the recording!




Opening remarks by DIGITAL SME

  • Andrei Kelemen, Vice President for Romania, European DIGITAL SME Alliance & Executive Director, CLUJ IT Cluster


Presentation of DIGITAL SME Proposal for a New Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans

  • Antonio Grasso, Public Affairs Director, DIGITAL SME


Fireside chat with Valentina Superti (Director on Western Balkans, European Commission) and Gabriela Miranda (Senior Advisor South East Europe Division, OECD): European and international efforts to make the Western Balkans digital


Panel Discussion – The transformative role of digital technologies in the Western Balkans: how to build entrepreneurial capacity for the region?

  • Danijel Apostolovic, Ambassador, Mission of the Republic of Serbia to the EU
  • Pranvera Kastrati, Head of Programme Department, Regional Cooperation Council
  • Milan Šolaja, CEO, Vojvodina ICT Cluster
  • Ana Marković, Project Manager for Education, ICT CORTEX


Concluding remarks