Minister Armonaitė proposed Lithuanian expert assistance for Ukraine to join common EU data space

Date

2021 03 18

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At the meeting with Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov on Thursday, Minister of the Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė discussed the importance of digitisation and open data and offered Lithuania’s support and expert assistance for Ukraine to join the Common European Union (EU) data space.

‘Our views on digitisation priorities are the same: we aim to open up as much data to the public as possible and to ensure the widest possible e-public services. Ukrainian citizens could both benefit from a visa-free travel regime with the European Union and also be part of the Schengen area. This means that Ukrainians could have the same access to mobile communications and data like all other citizens of the European Union do. A visa-free regime in the data area, as well as visa-free travel, would  encourage bilateral cooperation and help businesses to communicate more quickly. Moreover, the visa-free data space would be useful for the development of the fintech and govtech sectors,’ says Armonaitė.

The Minister said she supports Ukraine’s ambitious goal of making all public services available electronically by 2024. Ukraine has already made significant progress in digitisation processes; however, to help Ukraine integrate into the EU-wide roaming system, Lithuania could provide support and assistance in terms of data protection, opening and re-use acceleration processes. In order to achieve this, a common system of data transmission in the Eastern Partnership countries must be established as soon as possible.

Moreover, Lithuania is ready to share best practice in implementing the govtech idea to transform the public sector through innovative technologies. The Minister invited innovative business teams, start-ups and academia from Ukraine to cooperate in the implementation of the GuvTech Lab project.

Minister Armonaitė also noted that Lithuania is interested in more active trade relations between Ukraine and the EU. It is therefore particularly important to speed up the Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products of Ukraine and EU Member States (ACAA) to remove the technical barriers currently hindering trade.

Economic relations between Lithuania and Ukraine remain strong during the pandemic. Ukraine is a market of particular importance for Lithuanian investors. Lithuania sees great potential for bilateral cooperation both in traditional and also innovative economic sectors, like life sciences, IT, financial technologies, digital innovations in the public sector and others.

Ukraine is 18th largest export partner of Lithuanian producers, while in 2020 the bilateral trade turnover amounted to EUR 1.19 billion. Lithuania’s direct investment in Ukraine amounted to EUR 180 million at the end of Q3 2020.