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Dialogue fostered cooperation on digital governance

Dialogue fostered cooperation on digital governance

Cross-border interoperability, cross-border electronic identity and signature, and modern digital public services were the key themes of the "Policy Dialogue on Digital Governance" organized by the European Union-Latin America and Caribbean (EU-LAC) Digital Alliance in San José, Costa Rica, on 15-17 May.

Co-chaired by the European Commission and the governments of Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Estonia, the dialogue brought together more than 100 representatives from 37 countries, including senior government officials and a wide range of stakeholders, to discuss priorities and draw practical conclusions in the field of e-governance, to define a common agenda and roadmap for bi-regional cooperation.

The opening was led by Paula Bogantes, Minister of Science, Innovation, Technology and Telecommunications of Costa Rica; Felipe Zaccheo, Head of Unit of DG INTPA  EU; Edie Cux, Executive Director of the Presidential Commission for Open and Digital Government of Guatemala; Margarita Balseiro Lopes, Minister for Youth and Modernisation of Portugal (via video message); Hannes Astok, Chairman of the Board of the e-Governance Academy (eGA) of Estonia; and Juan Alfaro, Executive President of INA.

In their welcoming remarks, they underlined the importance of interoperability to improve the delivery of public services and promote interregional cooperation, as well as the importance of strengthening standardization, data exchange protocols, interoperable processes, and systems to achieve the benefits of digital transformation in a multi-state environment.

Participants learned about successful experiences in open government, cross-border digital identities and signatures, digital services, and other related topics. They shared knowledge and best practices in various working tables, including dedicated spaces to address the specificities and challenges of the sub-regions (South America, Central America, and the Caribbean). Representing RedCLARA at the dialogue were Mark Urban, Director of International Cooperation, Academic Relations, and Communications, and Ixchel Pérez, Regional Editor and International Relations Advisor, who highlighted how RedCLARA and the BELLA II project can provide opportunities to strengthen cross-border projects and public services of value to societies.

The dialogue also highlighted two cross-cutting issues for the sustainability of digitalization: digital citizenship and ICT governance. In this regard, it was stressed that an efficient and effective governance structure to support digital transformation must consider civil society organizations as partners and active actors in the digital agenda.

The importance of e-governance to ensure the integration of cybersecurity, data governance, and connectivity was also underlined. This contributed to the creation of sound digital policies that focus on security, accessibility, and service efficiency.

The dialogue on digital governance was part of a series of high-level policy dialogues of the Digital Alliance. These dialogues were built on the conclusions of the Cartagena Conference in Colombia in November 2023 and aimed to reach agreements at the political level ahead of the EU-CELAC Summit in 2025. The dialogues also covered cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.



BELLA II receives funding from the European Union through the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), under agreement number 438-964 with DG-INTPA, signed in December 2022. The implementation period of BELLA II is 48 months.


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