Minister Shaqiri participated on the 17th conference: e-Society - Democracy in the Digital Age: challenges and opportunities

Skopje, November 30th, 2021

Minister of Information Society and Administration, D-r Jeton Shaqiri had an introductory speech at the 17th Conference: “Е-Society - Democracy in the Digital Age: challenges and opportunities “, that was organized by the Metamorphosis foundation.

Minister Shaqiri referred to the efforts and activities undertaken by MISA and the Government in the field of digitalization, as well as the challenges related to the development of technologies.

 “We, as government, must take care of peoples’ security in cyber space and introduce new defense and security measures, not only for the government systems, but also for all infrastructure that is essential for citizens’ wellbeing. While critical infrastructure is predominantly owned by the private sector, given our increasingly interconnected world, the government must guide and protect the activities. In this regard, we are currently working with our partners from USAID on a program designed to enhance the cyber security preparedness of North Macedonia’s Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources” said minister Shaqiri.

The Minister emphasized that the freedom of expression, freedom of the media, protection of media pluralism, right to information to be of outmost importance to democracy. But on the other hand, there are greater challenges as the spreading of false news. That is why, as he said, the ccritical thinking and media literacy are the most important tools we can use in the fight against information manipulation, fake news, false reporting, disinformation, propaganda, deception.

The impact of online media is increasing with the breakthrough of digitalization, but their proper regulation is much more difficult than with traditional media. Preventing the spread of false news is one of the areas where greater stakeholder involvement is needed, since the consequences can be fatal.

Minister Shaqiri also referred to the continuous activities aimed at greater transparency of the institutions:

 “The Ministry of Information Society and Administration is coordinating the Open Government Partnership initiative, reaffirming our commitment to continuously improve the work of the Government based on open, transparent, secure and efficient government institutions that communicate and cooperate with citizens. We are continuously encouraging the publication and use of open data, with the ultimate goal to increase the transparency and accountability of state institutions”, said minister Shaqiri.

The conference is organized in synergy with the project "Increasing Civic Engagement in Digital Agenda - ICEDA", co-funded by the European Union, and was attended by Julian Vassalo, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation, Eric Janovski, Representative of the USAID Office in RNM, Kristina Mann, Senior E-Democracy Expert at the e-Government Academy, and Bardhyl Jashari, Executive Director of the Metamorphosis Foundation.