José Manuel Barroso Talks about Digital Citizens of Europe and of the World

José Manuel Barroso Talks about Digital Citizens of Europe and of the World
15 June 2016

On 7th June the 11th President of the European Commission, serving from 2004 to 2014, Mr. José Manuel Barroso, gave a public lecture themed ‘Digital Citizens of Europe and of the world’ at the Ceremonial Hall of the Sofia University ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’. He was invited by the University’s Rector Prof. Dr. Anastas Gerdjikov as part of a comprehensive partner campaign initiated by Telelink and Endeavor Bulgaria.

From the academic tribune of the Bulgarian Alma Mater Mr. Barroso spoke about the future of United Europe – the digital citizens of Europe and of the world. Information technologies and the united digital market play a crucial role in Europe’s strategy for economic growth and Mr. Barroso has a major part in its development. As he points out, one of the major transformations in the world comes from the digital economy. ‘The Commission is trying to form a united digital market and we, at the EC, have a strategy how to do this: through a good access to digital services. Digital economy is a trend in all sectors of the economy and it brings mutual benefits, said Barroso. An important element is to develop the economies based on collaboration. This means knowledge sharing and providing digital services, stated Barroso. ‘If we lose the battle for the digitalization, Europe’s economy is at risk’, he poited out. According to Barroso, small and mid-sized enterprises can make use of digital technologies much more in what they do, and EC comes with a strategy how those companies can leverage on digital technologoes. The speech was followed by questions from the attending students and comments on current political events in Europe and around the world.

During his visit in Sofia Mr. Barroso met President Rossen Plevneliev, and both expressed their common understanding that the European idea needs a new wave of support not only by the EU instritutions, but by the governments of the member states and european citizens as well. Mr. Barroso visited the Council of Ministers where he met Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov where they were joined by the American General Wesley Clark, Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO 1997 – 2000.

As a next step of the campaign, Telelink plans to develop a comprehensive platform called ‘Digital Citizens of Europe and of the world’ in collaboration with the Sofia University which shall be funded by the business. Through this platform students of various faculties would be able to work on topics related to the ‘Digital Citizens of Europe and of the world’ theme. This initiative can create and drive partnerships with the business, government bodies, academic instritutions in Europe, European programs, and to be beneficial to  both Sofia University’s activities and for the future career development of the young people after their graduation.

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