More than 150 participants attended the first Citizens' Dialogue in Bulgaria with the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, in the town of Lukovit on 25 March. Commissioner Gabriel's stage partner was the Bulgarian Minister of Education and Science, Krasimir Valchev.
The debate was mainly focused on new technology, cybersecurity, data protection, the importance of digital competences for jobs in the future and how Bulgarians imagine Europe's digital future.
At the very beginning of the discussion Commissioner Gabriel emphasized how important it is to include people from all European regions in the debate about Europe's digital future. This was also the reason why she chose to organise her first dialogue with Bulgarian citizens in the small town of Lukovit.
"Digitalisation is changing economic and social models as we know them. All European citizens should be prepared to face these changes, independent of age, social status or place of residence", the Commissioner remarked.
Asked about the measures that young people can take to enhance internet safety, Mariya Gabriel explained that the main recommendations for safe online behaviour include regular password changes and careful judgement before sharing content or responding to suspicious emails.
The Bulgarian Minister of Education and Science Krasimir Valchev, Regional Governor Georgi Terziyski, Lukovit's Mayor Ivan Grancharov and Peter Sharkov and Grisha Karanikolov, representatives of Telerik Academy will be ambassadors of Commissioner Gabriel's campaign SafeInternet4EU.
Fake news, high technology and supercomputers, artificial intelligence and girls' and womens’ participation in the IT sector were also among the topics discussed at the Citizens' Dialogue, which posed new important questions about the contribution that Bulgarian citizens and institutions can make to the digital future of Europe.