EU Commissioner highlights Cyprus’ role in cybersecurity sector

European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel referred on Thursday to Cyprus’ important role in the field of cybersecurity, especially in the maritime sector.

Addressing the Digital Economy and Innovation, A Vision of Growth Conference, organized by the Democratic Rally Party (DISY) in Nicosia, she said that the question of cybersecurity is one of the most important ones and added that Cyprus is one of our innovation hubs for cybersecurity, especially in the maritime sector

She noted that cybersecurity is not only about our personal data, it is about our critical infrastructure.

Referring to the same issue, during a press conference with DISY President Averof Neofytou earlier in the day, the Commissioner said that one of Cyprus strengths is cybersecurity. She said that today she held a meeting with Communication Minister Vassiliki Anastasiadou with whom she talked about the cybersecurity in the maritime sector.

During her speech at the conference, she said that her vision is for Europe to build a digital society based on its strength and its core values, noting that the benefits of the ongoing digital transformation can not be limited to a few individuals but should be for all.

The Commissioner also referred to the importance of citizens having trust in the new technologies they use. Trust, that is our key word she said, and referred to the importance of an adequate legal framework.

Noting that after 2020 90% of all jobs will require basic digital skills, she said that in Europe there are 350,000 vacancies for ICT speciallists , that will become 500,000 in 2020.

Member states, she pointed out, must increase the number of graduates in science, engineering and mathematics and strengthen the teaching of digital skills in their curriculum.

Referring to Artificial Intelligence, she said that it is not clear yet how many jobs will disappear and noted that in March the first report with European data will be ready regarding the impact on the different professions.

?uring the press conference with DISY President Averof Neofytou, the Commissioner thanked Cyprus for its support to the Digital Single Market, the proposal for the Digital Europe Program with a budget of 9 billion, the first in the history of the EU, and said that Cyprus was one of the first countries to endorse the initiative of a high performance computing. She said that the ambition is for the EU to have by 2022 its own European supercomputer that will bring many benefits to the citizens. She also thanked Cyprus for its support to the initiative so as by 2022 Europe has its human genome database that would benefit the peoples health.

She also said that after the 15th of May the price for intraEU calls will be 19 cents per minute for all Europeans.

In his speech at the conference,Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said that our policies here in Cyprus should now embrace innovation and digital transformation, noting that this is an excellent way to improve our growth model and broaden the productive base of our economy.

In this effort, he said, the advice and support of Cyprus’ academic, scientific and business community will be needed.

He recalled that a new national council for research and innovation has been established recently and the first Chief Scientist of Cyprus, Kyriakos Kokkinos, was officially appointed today.

The Minister said also that during the year we also aim to establish a post of a deputy Minister for Digital Transformation.

Futhermore, he pointed out that the aim is to become one of the first countries to effectively regulate blockchain technology.

Cyprus, he said, is also investing significant funds in a number of e-government projects in our public sector.

Concluding, he reiterated the commitment of the government and the call that we should all engage in substantial consultation at national and EU level in order to be ready, to effectively prepare our economies and societies for the new technological challenge that lies ahead of us.

In his speech at the conference, DISY President said that ‘Cyprus 2030 is our vision for a digital and innovative Cyprus’.

‘It is far beyond digital supremacy. It is rather, about finding ways to harness the new digital era for the benefits of our societies. With policies to enable economic growth and social prosperity. And such policies are vital, for the European Union as a whole and of course for Cyprus’ he said.

He referred to the support of the European Commission and gave as an example the Euros 19million for Cypriot Municipalities and communities to develop free WIFI infrastructure, noting that this will be followed by an extension of the funding program of Euros 120 million to further expand free WI-FI with three additional calls from now until 2020.

It is noted that the Commissioner visits Cyprus upon the invitation of the DISY party.

Source: Cyprus News Agency