Tigran Sargsyan: Within the EAEU, countries get a chance to realize digital sovereignty

14 April 2021

Moscow, 15 April 2021. On 14 April, Tigran Sargsyan, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), delivered an honorary lecture titled The Role of Supranational and International Institutions in the Digital Transformation of Eurasian Countries at the April Conference of the Higher School of Economics.

Tigran Sargsyan presented his definitions of digital transformation, digital ecosystems, and digital platforms.

For example, digital transformation is society’s transition through digitalisation to a new technological order. Transformation takes place through the formation of digital ecosystems. These are a new form of organisational, legal, and technological interaction between people through digital platforms, while digital platforms are automated relationships between independent actors in a single information environment, resulting in lower transaction costs.

“These categories, when considered at state and supranational level, lead to the theme of sovereignty. Digital sovereignty is the autonomy of a state in managing digital transformation and forming a new ecosystem that excludes the possibility of external influence on its functioning and sustainability,” said Tigran Sarkisian. “The loss of digital sovereignty means the loss of political sovereignty.”

From this perspective, the future of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) depends on the success of digital transformation as a factor in shaping the integration space. An important characteristic of any ecosystem is scale, so countries get a chance to realise digital sovereignty within the EAEU, Tigran Sargsyan believes.

The participants in the digital agenda can include international development institutions that do not only finance individual projects but are also invited to develop digital concepts and programmes.

In the EAEU+ region, the leading international development banks in terms of financing are the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank Group, the Eurasian Development Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. These institutions also finance national digital agendas and projects in a number of countries.

Since 2020, the EDB has been an actor in the digital transformation of the Eurasian space. The EDB Council has established the Fund for Digital Initiatives specialising in digital agenda. The objective of the Fund, according to its regulations, is to assist EDB member states in creating digital transformation tools and practices by integrating national information resources and participating in the development and financing of projects, including those implemented under the EAEU 2025 Digital Agenda.

“In short, the objective of the EDB Fund for Digital Initiatives is to ensure the digital sovereignty of our states,” Tigran Sargsyan summed up. 

Additional Information:

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) is an international financial institution promoting integration and development in its member countries – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, and Tajikistan. The EDB's charter capital totals US $7 billion. The Bank was established in January 2006 and is headquartered in Almaty. The EDB’s portfolio mainly consists of projects with an integration effect in the areas of transport infrastructure, digitalisation, green energy, agriculture, industry, and mechanical engineering.

The EDB Media Centre:

Azima Sapargaliyeva +7 (777) 750 00 08 (Almaty)

Sergey Gorbachev +7 (916) 727 22 00 (Moscow)

pressa@eabr.org

www.eabr.org

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2021