Digital transformation of European Cities
European organisations have taken the initiative to work towards digitalization of European cities
- March 12, 2020 16:00
Digitalisation has become one of the major priorities of the European Union in recent years. Since 2008, the European Commission has designated the digital agenda into the portfolio of a commissioner. Since 2018, there is also a digital agenda of the Union that sets the vision for the digital transformation of the administration up to 2022.
The EU is not only its institutions. It is a unity of small parts, of regions and cities. A number of them have gathered to bring about their own digital transformation. The initiative is supported by the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions.
As we informed earlier, several organisations have taken the initiative together with the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU to prepare a Declaration on digital transformation. These are Eurocities, Open and Agile Smart Cities and the European Network of Living labs. The Declaration is still open for signature.
The advantages it offers for a sustainable digital transformation of cities, regions and communities include:
- Independence via individual digital solutions appropriate for the city, region or community.
- Services for the citizens of the Union that are efficient, cost-effective, citizen-related and centred.
- Platforms that are user-friendly, cross-sector and cross-border.
- To offer solutions in sectors such as smart urban mobility, energy efficiency, sustainable housing, e-government services, etc.
The organisations behind the Declaration understand the need for an approach that is directed at the citizens and the communities they live in. At the same time, they take into account the ethical and social side of this digital transformation and include it in the main measures envisaged under the Declaration. They are divided into 5 main groups:
- Financial – it includes a joint investment plan on a voluntary basis, a synergy between different types of funding – EU, national, regional, etc.
- Technical – they vouch for common standards and technical specifications as well as data, infrastructure and digital services available to all citizens.
- Legal – to check and coordinate the necessary legislative measures on all levels of governance.
- Education and capacity building – the most important principles/goals here are two. First, the administrative capacity of the institutions to work in such a digital environment. And second, the opportunities for the citizens to have access to digital education to develop new skills.
- Monitoring and measuring – a new approach to measuring the benefits and monitoring the implementation will be created.
Up to now, more than 60 representatives of institutions and authorities have signed the Declaration. More are expected to take part in the coming months.
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