Aspen Institute Romania organized the "Mapping the European Digital Space - a Romanian blueprint for governance and business development in the digital world" policy roundtable on the 20th of September 2011, at the Intercontinental Hotel. The event builds upon the work done domestically and internationally within the framework of the Aspen Institute Romania Technology, Information and Society Policy Program. Aspen Institute Romania holds regular policy dialogues as well as large-scale multiple stakeholder conferences, at international level, one of its most important contributions is related to the International Digital Economy Accords project run by the Aspen Institute US. Given the importance of the international dialogue regarding digital governance issues, we are positive that the event in Bucharest will be a good opportunity to promote the development of ideas while furthering the democratic and inclusive consultation in the field.
The round table policy meeting addressed the importance for Eastern EU member states like Romania, and their emerging economies, to fully participate in the digital single market. It starts from the basic tenement that it is critical and timely to ensure that they benefit from Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) across their economic, social, educational and administrative sectors. The digital world of solutions and technologies offers these countries and the EU unparalleled instruments for economic convergence and administrative and community reform. The discussion we propose will further look at the need for new member states to have an active voice in the governance of the digital sector, to take part in the dialogue aimed at creating a regulatory framework for the digital sector, which has to guarantee fundamental rights and freedoms for individuals, communities and companies, while ensuring a responsible and trusted environment organized around the principle of freedom of access.
For the policy meeting the Aspen Institute Romania convened a small, select number of individually invited leading personalities of the information and communication technologies business field, policymakers and decision makers, including the relevant parliamentary committees, experts, members of the academia and of research institutions, regulators as well as investors.
The policy meeting was divided in two sections: the first panel "Digital Governance a View from Europe" explored the concrete ways in which the domestic regulatory framework for ICT complements the European one and how Romania can contribute towards achieving the EU Commission's ambitious Digital Agenda. A second panel "Investment Environment for a Digital Future for Romania in Europe" focused on the economic reality of the ICT field, with hits and misses in terms of digital economy and the management of various public and private technology and IT&C based programs, how the IT&C sector can develop into a cross-sector economic driver for competitiveness, modernization and human development, the relationship between productivity, competitiveness, research and technology in business, entrepreneurial education of IT specialists, the need for venture capital and an effective investment market in technology and R&D, how best to promote innovation clusters for an effective digital future for Romania in the EU.