Nilza de Sena and Elona Gjebrea Hoxha 290119Nilza de Sena and Elona Gjebrea Hoxha in Vienna, 29 January 2019VIENNA, 29 January 2019 – The rapid digitalization process taking place across the OSCE area is generating substantial changes in all spheres of life and carries many security implications, including in the economic and environmental dimension, the Parliamentary Assembly’s Nilza de Sena and Elona Gjebrea-Hoxha said today in Vienna.

National parliaments must keep abreast of developments in this field and respond appropriately with relevant legislation, de Sena said in an address to the First Preparatory Meeting of the 27th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum (EEF). She highlighted that human beings should remain at the center of the digitalization process and drew attention to the sharp increase of energy consumption and digitalization’s impacts on the labour market. Moreover, de Sena stressed that legal protection of personal data must be duly addressed.

A member of parliament from Portugal and Chair of the OSCE PA’s Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment, de Sena was speaking at session four of the EEF meeting, being held this week under the theme, “Promoting economic progress and security in the OSCE area through energy co-operation, new technologies, good governance and connectivity in the digital era.”

She was joined in Vienna by Gjebrea-Hoxha, a member of parliament from Albania and Rapporteur of the OSCE PA’s economic and environmental committee. Gjebrea-Hoxha also spoke today at the EEF, noting that the economy and the environment should be issues of focus of all governments. She emphasized the role of parliamentarians in promoting security and appreciated the support and recommendations of the OSCE on topics that are related to the daily lives of citizens and which need to be addressed properly with the support of all OSCE structures in co-operation with each other.

Gjebrea-Hoxha and de Sena held a series of bilateral meetings on the margins of the EEF. They met Monday with Ambassador Kairat Sarybay, Chair of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Committee, and Ambassador Radomír Boháč, Chair of the OSCE Permanent Council. Today they met with OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger and Vuk Zugic, Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities.

In meetings, de Sena and Gjebrea-Hoxha have stressed that the OSCE area must be one of co-operation between OSCE countries and noted that the Organization can also serve as a trendsetter for the broader international community.

Satisfaction was expressed for the OSCE Slovak Chairmanship’s focus on the economic and environmental dimension as a priority. The PA members also expressed appreciation that the PA’s work was duly reflected in the latest Ministerial Council documents in this context, noting the need to continue advancing this good co-operation.