Malta hailed for its National Digital Strategy
The European Commission’s Director General responsible for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, Mr Robert Madelin, this morning hailed the efforts of the Maltese Government in drawing up a national digital strategy; he said Malta was heading in the right direction.
Mr Robert Madelin was in Malta as part of the Going Local initiative. Since the launch of the Digital Agenda for European 2010 visits to individual member states have been taking place, to enable meeting with stakeholders.
“I think the next issue that we will look at is innovation hubs in Malta and how to network them with innovation hubs across Europe so that Maltese entrepreneurs, start-ups and digital folk, can get the best possible benefits from being part of the broader EU territory”, said Mr Madelin.
Accompanied by the Parliamentary Secretary, José Herrera, Mr Madelin attended a lesson as part of the BeSmartOnline! project at St Augustine School in Malta. Earlier, Mr Madelin and Parliamentary Secretary José Herrera held a bilateral meeting to discuss the initiatives taken by Malta to achieve its goals by 2020.
The Digital Malta Strategy, launched by the Prime Minister in March 2014, is a policy to guide the country in attaining the 2020 vision of prospering as a digitally-enabled nation in all sectors of society. Together with the Strategy, a programme of Initiatives was launched for 2014; such programmes will be published on a yearly basis to highlight initiatives underway.
José Herrera said that Malta was a strong believer in e-Government and the opportunities it provided for Government to re-invent itself, effectively delivering services to citizens and businesses in a way that was clear and transparent.
In relation to BeSmartOnline! Dr Herrera said that for the past 4 years, the project had acted as a Safer Internet Centre (SIC) in Malta and had focused on raising awareness on the safe use of the Internet by minors. During the visit Dr Herrera mentioned some of the initiatives undertaken through the project to fight indecent material; there had been close collaboration with the Malta Police Force and a Hotline had been established for the public to report illegal content anonymously.
Through BeSmartOnline! Dr Herrera said that 9,000 students have been reached.
He also spoke about the idea to create a charter which would crystallize digital rights and digital obligations. The idea behind this charter was to have the necessary legal framework encompassing the digital citizen.