Trust and security

Surf safe

Objectives

  • Interoperable cross border services
  • Interoperable toll services
  • Free flow of personal and non-personal data
  • Enhance cyber resilience in the Western Balkan

Results

  • Enhanced regional cooperation and improved regional capacities in the area of interoperability and trust services
  • Launched regional discussions on interoperability of toll services
  • Kick started regional dialogue on free flow of data
  • Networked CSIRTs and supported the strengthening of capacities on cybersecurity of Western Balkan economies

Regional interoperability and trust services require strong regional cooperation in order to speed up the process of modernisation of public administration. Interoperability is an enabler of effective new electronic governance, and its establishment in the WB region is based on the principles of user-oriented administration in accordance with social and user needs and priorities, and the requirements of EU interoperability.

COVID-19 stressed the importance of interoperability in our everyday life and has shown, among others, the ways in which trust services can help citizens interact with public administration without leaving their homes.

Following the commitments of the Memorandum of Understanding on Regional Interoperability and Trust Services in Western Balkans Region, the work towards improving regional interoperability, including recognition of eIDs and trust services has advanced. Vision, objectives and key components including the timeline for implementation of the proposed activities have been agreed as well as the aim to enable recognition of eIDs and trust services. The economies are working on identifying cross-border use-cases so as ensure launching of regional pilot project(s) aiming to improve interoperability of cross-border services.

As part of the framework for an enhanced interoperability, the region has already initiated the work towards the establishment of the framework for free flow of data. This initiative aims to create the conditions for free flow of data, both personal and non-personal data, across the region by removing any existing barrier and optimizing the utilization of existing data centers. To this end, the assessment of compliance with GDPR and respective roadmaps to ensure effective implementation of GDPR requirement across the region have been prepared. Free flow of data is considered the fifth freedom of a common market in addition to the traditional freedoms (free movement of goods, services, people and capital) and will enable unrestricted movement of data across the region and IT systems, unleashing the potentials of digital economy.

Interoperability of toll services is recognized as very important for the region. RCC and Transport Community Permanent Secretariat (TCPS) together with WB economies embarked on this issue in April 2021, when the regional dialogue on interoperability of toll services kick started.

Considering that trust and security are the most important preconditions for development of digital economy in WB, RCC will continue supporting the WB region in further significant improvements in the implementation of the activities in this area.

With development of various digital services and interconnected digital world the importance of cybersecurity gets its full justification. Cybersecurity became a crucial factor for grasping all benefits that digital technologies enable. Individuals strive to protect their personal data and invaluable documents, companies to protect their systems, databases but also users of their services, while operators of critical infrastructure endeavor to ensure seamless supply of essential services.

The more connected we are, the more vulnerable we become. Increased number of connected devices, various telecommunication equipment, IoT, communication modules, controlling and monitoring gadgets, autonomous cars in the near future, etc. represent a challenge and opportunity for malicious activities and increase chances for compromising our data and systems.

Cybersecurity is a never-ending and taxing game which requires knowledge, nerves, patience, shrewdness and prompt reaction. In this game, hackers and defenders, hidden behind their virtual identities, but at the same chessboard are trying to checkmate each other.

Development of an adequate strategic framework and its proper implementation is one of the first steps in creating resilient and resistant cyber space at national level. Likewise, the legal framework of WB economies has to be adequately designed and legislation enforced, ensuring all elements are in place and capable to react properly and protect critical infrastructure, services, organisations and citizens.

Therefore RCC’s work is focused on developing cybersecurity strategies and aligning legislation with the EU acquis in this area, including establishing national CSIRTs, building their capacities, strengthening regional cooperation and information and knowledge sharing, as well as establishing links with relevant counterparts and important international stakeholders including ENISA. Synergy and cooperation with other initiatives and projects that deliver cybersecurity capacity building and other services is also RCC’s priority in order to maximise effectiveness and optimise outputs.

Next steps

  • Support processes that lead to improvement of interoperability across the WB region
  • Enable processes aimed at recognition of eIDs and trust services
  • Support processes towards free flow of non-personal data and greater data interoperability
  • Enhance regional cooperation between CSIRTs and build their capacities

Contact Points

Pranvera Kastrati

Pranvera Kastrati

Senior Expert on Economic and Digital Connectivity


+387 33 561 722
pranvera.kastrati[at]rcc.int

User

Tanja Maraš

Expert on Digital Connectivity


+387 33 561 728
tanja.maras[at]rcc.int