Large projects can only be created with broad cooperation. The digital single market is one such project, and without the existence of the European Union, it could not be established.
Step by step, thanks to advancements in technology, a fifth freedom is emerging alongside the original four fundamental freedoms - that is the free of movement of information and data. This process is surging from beneath, from businesses and citizens themselves.
It is up to the European institutions to create an environment that opens up wide-ranging fields of application and supports digital infrastructure, yet at the same time ensures that the European internet space is secure and transparent.
Over the next few months, Slovakia will be setting the pace for adopting the necessary legislation. Our country is becoming a leader in innovation. Our start-ups are award-winning and their products are finding customers across the globe.
The importance of the digital and sharing economy will continue to grow. Europe cannot miss out on the opportunity to create conditions for that economy to grow comprehensively.
It will be a great challenge to expand the space for the free movement of data to encompass the relationship between citizens and public institutions.
The technological requirements exist, but in more than one country there is a lack of political will to take this next step.
I believe the Slovak EU Council presidency will stand at the forefront of great changes; changes that will reshape the European economy into one that is both open and digital.