Tyson Barker joined DGAP in October 2020 as head of its Technology and Global Affairs Program. He previously worked at Aspen Germany where, as deputy executive director and fellow, he was responsible for the institute’s digital and transatlantic programs. Prior to that, Barker served in numerous positions including as senior advisor in the Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs at the US State Department and director for transatlantic relations at the Bertelsmann Foundation. Barker has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). In addition to his native English, he speaks fluent German and Spanish.
How can CEE best grasp the opportunity to benefit from tech-driven growth? How can the EU Recovery plan help grow the digitalization efforts in the region? What are the most likely areas for strengthening regional cooperation in the digital area?
Digital technology is at the centre of today’s economic debate due to its wide use during the COVID-19 outbreak. While technological advancements were already changing the world over the past two decades, the pandemic has further amplified the adoption of new technologies. In the CEE region, the lockdown-induced digital acceleration was particularly visible during the first months of the coronavirus crisis, with the rate of growth of the digital economy being almost twice as high as the year-on-year change observed in 2017–2019.
Synchronized with the EU’s recovery plans and strategic priorities, it is already clear that the future growth model for CEE should be based on digital and green technologies. At the same time, the region’s digital transition is an opportunity to grow not only its economic future but also its political influence within the EU and in the transatlantic relationship.