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Wednesday, 30 October

PM Victor Ponta: I would like to outline the support that the Romanian Government extends to the reform project of the Digital Agenda, presented at the level of the Commission and European Council

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I would like to greet first the presence in Bucharest of Mrs. Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Digital Agenda, to thank her for the series of activities she attends today, in Bucharest. I would like to outline ever since the beginning the total support that the Romanian Government and Romania extends to the reform project of the Digital Agenda presented at the level of the Commission and European Council. I consider that especially for Romania, for Romanian youth, an European Digital Agenda is a huge opportunity and a huge possibility to make a name of themselves here, in Romania, and in Europe, in the field where they are working.
A real reform of the European Digital Agenda means development opportunities, jobs creation and increase in competitiveness in relation to other countries in the world.
I want to inform you, and I informed the Vice President too of the fact that nationally we had a very good and fruitful cooperation with all companies and private industry that exists and works extremely well in Romania. From this point of view, Romania will continue to support all efforts to implement the objectives of the Digital Agenda in Europe and we want very much for reform initiated by the Commissioner to prove successful throughout Europe. I want to thank, in particular, for the support extended to Romania and for the good cooperation with the field Ministry in Romania, and representatives of the IT industry in Romania. Romania still has a great shortcoming to catch up with the European average in terms of access to broad band networks and digital development. Support from the European Commission is essential for Romania to recover this shortcoming and I want to thank for their support in the release of two very important projects, the first project assigned to Minister Nica - broad band for 750 municipalities and I also informed that we are finally in an advanced stage of the project on internet access in schools. They are old projects that had to be made for many years, but now we have to implement them. I thank the European Commissioner again for presence and assure her of Romania’s full support of the important reform that she promoted at European level. Thank you !
Neelie Kroes:
Good afternoon to everybody. You, Prime Minister made my day today and I need to explain a little bit why. I can assure you I visited quite a lot in the last couple of months, for the package the telecom single market.
I did not need to explain what the package was all about, he just said: let’s go to the heart of the matter.
And of course, my experience with the Minister of the Digital Agenda of Romania and the Minister of Education and Research, but they are close to this portfolio, but you, the Prime Minister, you are absolutely involved.
We are missing a part of the single market, and you compare it with a jigsaw, all the economic activities are involved in the single market, no borders, and one market. There is one economic sector that is not yet included, that is the telecommunications sector.
This telecom sector is not anymore about voice, it is about big date, it is about a huge opportunity, for restoring the economy, the ill economy of Europe. I am adding to that, that talking about youth and unemployment all over Europe, for example, is absolutely unacceptable, far too high figures, and there is a solution. There is a solution for just taking opportunities, being aware that in 2015, a million jobs that are related to IT&C have to be fulfilled.
And there indeed Mr. Prime Minister, we are connecting with the private sector for the grant coalition, and we were discussing that and we will discuss it later, today, that the grant coalition, private companies together with Governments and the Commission should just link these gaps that are at stake, in the labor market.
It is talking about education, about just filling in skills, that are not completely fitting in the opportunities of what is at stake, for 2015.
We should involve women too, we cannot afford in the economy of Europe of today that we are just neglecting, 50 percent –so to say - of a very interesting and important part of population.
And that was impressive this morning when the Ministers and I were visiting the big event that - you have talent, Mr. Prime Minister in your younger generation, also in older generation, but especially talking about younger generations.
A 19 year old Romanian guy who is inventing at the moment opportunities for smart cities, for traffic, that is impressive. There were 14 old year kids just building …, so the younger generation is ready to go for it, we have just to give opportunities.
I am looking forward Mr. Prime Minister to the cooperation with two of your Ministers and I am certain that we can make a step forward.
I need your backing that you are just discussing and pushing your colleagues in other member states that this is a priority. We cannot afford Europe to sit not in the driving seat, we were in the driving seat in the last century, in the 19th century, we can come back in the driving seat, and be competitive. Thank you again.

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