“Digitalisation will have an extremely important place in all these plans as was best confirmed in the past year when we had to transfer most of our activities from the real to the digital world", said National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic in the introductory part of his address.
He said that everyone in the world was working on the improvement of digitalisation today and everyone would want to improve their systems further, relying on the positive experiences gained during the difficult period of the pandemic.
"We are no exception and that is why it is to our great benefit to be opening this extremely important topic in this place, in the Parliament. The post-crisis period will not be the same as the pre-crisis period. In the past year, the world has changed dramatically and so have we. That is why we need to recognise the direction of these changes on time and that time is right now, and catch the wave that will bring us into the company of the most digitally developed communities", Dacic said, adding that he was convinced we would find some of these answers during this public hearing, with special expectations from the guests from other government agencies, especially eGovernment and IT offices, as well as friends from civil society and the digital industry.
"We are all here on a common task and in front of a common goal, which is to provide Serbia and our citizens with an environment in which they will realise their interests and their rights even more quickly and efficiently, and that environment will be incomparably more digital than it has been so far", said Ivica Dacic.
The following is the speech of the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in its entirety:
"Dear fellow MPs,
Let me first thank my colleague Muamer Zukorlic for the invitation to participate in today's public hearing, and also thank you for the initiative to choose as the topic of this hearing digitalisation, as one of the most important processes underway, one which the Republic of Serbia attaches great importance to.
I think that this public hearing in the National Assembly comes at the right time, when we are slowly but surely seeing that the fight against the pandemic is entering its final phase and when we already have to make plans and strategies for our development in the post-pandemic period. Digitalisation will have an extremely important place in all these plans as was best confirmed in the past year, when we had to move most of our activities from the real to the digital world.
I am convinced that for the success in the fight against the pandemic, which is obvious in Serbia, putting our country at the very top in Europe and the world, in addition to the enormous effort and knowledge of our healthcare workers, our IT sector is one of the most deserving, that is the engagement of our digital capacities in the organisation of the fight against the pandemic. Is there better proof for it than the current vaccination campaign, which would not be nearly as successful without the strong and well-organised digital support of our eGovernment?
We must use this and other similar experiences gained during the pandemic the best way we can, as capital that we acquired in extraordinary circumstances, and invest them in the accelerated continuation of digitalisation in all sectors of society. I am thinking primarily of the areas that concern the largest number of our citizens, for example health and education, as well as state administration. I see the role of this public hearing mostly in recognising which segments worked well and which worked less well during the pandemic and to learn the best lessons from this one-year experience to plot the course which the digitalisation process should follow. In that sense, we must keep in mind the recommendations from the Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans, prepared by the European Commission in 2018, which envisages strengthening the infrastructure as well as the digital skills of the citizens of Serbia, with a special focus on cyber security.
I would like to remind you that the National Assembly had adopted the Law on Digital Assets in January as an important step on that course.
Today, everyone in the world is working to improve digitalisation and everyone will want to improve their systems even more, relying on the positive experiences gained during the difficult period of the pandemic. We are no exception and that is why it is very useful that we open this extremely important topic here, in the Parliament. The period after the crisis will not be the same as the one before the crisis, in the past year the world has changed dramatically, we have also changed. That is why we need to recognise the direction of these changes on time and that time is right now, and catch the wave that will bring us into the company of the most digitally developed communities.
Serbia was on that path even before the pandemic and it is my impression that in the past year it has stepped up the pace and organised even better when it comes to the digitalisation of the most important social sectors. That is why we have to take a good look at our current capacities, as well as the needs that have imposed themselves in the meantime and become our reality. Our obligation, as the Parliament, is to meet these new circumstances and offer the best answers to the questions opening up today, and which will be especially relevant in the period after the end of these extraordinary health and economic circumstances.
I am convinced that we will find some of those answers during this public hearing and I have special expectations from our guests from other state bodies, especially eGovernment and IT offices, as well as friends from civil society and the digital industry. We are all here on a common task and in front of a common goal, which is to provide Serbia and our citizens with an environment in which they will realise their interests and their rights even more quickly and efficiently, and that environment will be incomparably more digital than it has been so far.
I wish you successful work,