The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) has welcomed Slovakia as its 36th Member following the significant progress the country has made towards advancing its digital transformation with an increased focus on developing digital infrastructure and improving digital literacy to ensure that technological developments benefit all citizens.
Slovakia has outlined its strategic vision for the digital transformation of the country, with areas of focus including the economy, society and education, public administration, territorial development, and science, research and innovations. The country’s Digital Transformation Strategy underscores the importance of technology to strengthen civic society and democratic values, and to counter measures that intend to weaken or threaten civic participation.
It has also developed the Slovak National Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs, based on the initiative of the European Commission, with the goal of mobilising public, private, academic and civic organisations to improve the digital skills of citizens.
A member of the European Union (EU) as well as an active participant in a number of intergovernmental and multistakeholder initiatives that promote democracy, transparency, and human rights, including, but not limited to, the Media Freedom Coalition, the Open Government Partnership, and the International Partnership for Information and Democracy, Slovakia has also demonstrated a commitment to multi-stakeholder engagement, consulting with various bodies to form policies and strategies, in line with the FOC’s multi-stakeholder approach.
State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Ingrid Brocková, said: “At the time when democracy is under threat from the rise of populism and authoritarianism it is necessary to keep free flow of information and ideas, and promote freedom of expression. World Wide Web is an excellent tool but a bad ruler. Slovakia together with Members of the Freedom Online Coalition will seek to uphold the highest democratic standards also online.”
As the Coalition’s 36th member, Slovakia has pledged to uphold and advance the Coalition’s shared goals and values as stated in the FOC Founding Declaration and underpinning documents. The country will be an active participant in the FOC’s various bodies and diplomatic networks to promote the values of democracy and human rights online domestically and abroad.
The FOC is delighted to welcome Slovakia and looks forward to working collaboratively to support Internet freedom and protect human rights, both online and offline, worldwide.
To read more about the Freedom Online Coalition’s priorities and ongoing activities, please visit www.freedomonlinecoalition.com/aims-and-priorities.