The last day of September, which is the unofficial start of new victories and losses for the Croatian youth (due to the beginning of the school year and final deadline exams for students), has been completed with a suitable discussion on the future of new generations.
Osijek, the biggest city in the Eastern Croatian region of Slavonia, was the host of the ”Youth and the IT Industry Future” panel, one of the thematics panels from the European Future Conference.
Along with the Croatian Parliament and Croatian counties, the European Parliament Office in Zagreb hosts thematic discussions in ten cities which are home to universities.
”The European Future Conference is a series of public debates that allows citizens to express their ideas and come up with suggestions for the reforms and future policies of the EU,” explains the European Parliament Office in their press release.
They added that the centerpiece of the conference is a multilingual platform where citizens can exchange ideas, connect with each other, and have their say on burning issues outside of these organised events.
The panel in Osijek delighted the mayor, Ivan Radić, one of the opening speakers. Radić stated that Osijek has a lot to say and show when it comes to the IT sector as the city aims to rebrand as a place of excellence for this field, aiming for a more digital Osijek.
There is no better proof of that than the Osijek Software City Association, established in 2021 with the goal of promoting the IT sector towards the local community.
”Several leading IT companies in Osijek realised that the youth needs to be introduced to the IT industry in an approachable way,” said Osijek Software City representative Ivan Ostheimer.
Thanks to their hard work, many local companies in Osijek now hire experts and produce quality software that can then be exported to the global market, in spite of the still challenging economic situation.
The background goal of the European Future Conference is to show people that European Parliament representatives aren’t simply being hermits and hiding themselves in the EU Parliament in Brussels or Strassbourg. In that spirit, the Croatian MEPs Karlo Ressler (European’s People Party) and Sunčana Glavak (Croatian Democratic Union) participated in the event (Ressler in person and Glavak via video link).
Ressler is the Vice President of the special EU Parliamentary Committee for artificial intelligence (AI). He stated at the panel the European Union currently has ongoing discussions on regulating this new technology. The goal is to find a balance that would use the potential of AI without stopping the industry, while also avoiding negative scenarios such as manipulation attempts that would damage people’s lives.
Glavak pointed out how digitalisation now has a key role in every EU policy.
”The goal is for that at least 80% of the EU population to have digital skills by 2030“, said Glavak.
With the panel in Osijek demonstrating the current successes of the IT industry, the aim for a digital Osijek, and seeing the attendance of both political elites and professionals, it seems that this Eastern Croatian city is on a very good track.
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