Vice President Andrus Ansip and Commissioner Mariya Gabriel participated in the GovTech Summit organised for the first time in Paris on 12 November 2018. Supported by the Commission, the summit brought together more than 1500 participants: policy–makers, innovators and the start-up community in order to improve public services through digital innovation placing citizens at the centre. Nine far-reaching EU funded projects on the digital transformation of public services in various fields were showcased at the GovTech Summit.

Building on the principles of the eGovernment Action Plan and the Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment, European governments have moved towards open, transparent and collaborative public services over the last years. According to latest information to be published by the European Commission, 10 EU countries (Malta, Austria, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Portugal, Denmark) and Norway are delivering high-quality digital services with a score above 75% on important events of daily life such as moving, finding or losing a job, starting a business or studying. Six out of ten public services in Europe are mobile friendly. These were some of the figures shared with the participants at the panel “What does Europe think? Perceptions of e-services in Europe” .

GovTech Summit was also a great opportunity for the European Commission to showcase 9 EU funded projects which shape its vision for the digital transformation of public services. They included diverse and ambitious projects related to the reduction of administrative burden through the once only principle, digital solutions specifically designed for public administrations, electronic identification at municipal level, robotics in healthcare, public cloud services, data management, human-centered Internet of Things and connected cars.

Vice – President Ansip participated at the panel "The State of GovTech in Europe" where he emphasised the importance of eID as key to any e-solutions. He referred to the eIDAS Regulation and to the need for more Member States to notify their eID schemes taking into account that up to now only six have done so. He also emphasised the necessity to protect privacy with reference to General Data Protection Regulation and ePrivacy as well as the importance of Once Only Principle and the cross border access to data especially in order to support startups and to achieve a Digital Single Market.

Commissioner Gabriel participated at the panel "Artificial Intelligence in Government". The Commissioner stressed the importance of EU investments in adequate resources to build AI capacity and infrastructures across Europe. She highlighted the importance of an ethical approach to AI based on values and, last but not least, the need to accompany EU citizens in the digital transformation of jobs enabled by AI. The forthcoming AI online platform initiative is a concrete action to support AI deployment in various domains across Member States. More information about the European approach on AI can be found here.

A specific panel devoted to "Digital Identity: the next frontier for smart governments”  took place during the Summit which discussed the opportunities, and risks, associated with the proliferation of new digital identification systems. The importance of eID for the digital transformation of public services and, more in general, for the security and protection of citizens online was highlighted as well as the key contribution of eID in the effort against online disinformation.

Last but not least, two reports were published for the Summit: “The EUROPEAN 150: The startups driving Europe’s GovTech Revolution" and "GovTech: Europe’s next opportunity".

Background

The GovTech Summit was an initiative of the French Government supported by the European Commission. With more than 90 international speakers, this one-day summit was part of Paris Digital Week.

The European Commission participated in the GovTech Summit showcasing the following projects:

  • eIDAS for Municipalities: Making Dutch online services accessible to European citizens with their eID.
  • SUNFISH:  Developing  software to federate different public administration cloud services
  • Synchronicity:  A project to create a global market for human-centered Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Activage . A project deploying mature IoT for testing, demonstration and initial market take-up.
  • ECHORD: Developing Robotics Technology to the needs of public government
  • ISA2: Digital solutions that enable public administrations, businesses and citizens in Europe to benefit from interoperable cross-border and cross-sector public services.
  • TOOP: It explores and demonstrates the once-only principle across borders while focusing on data from businesses
  • DECODE: Giving people ownership of their personal data
  • Connected and Driverless Cars: a project for autonomous/connected vehicles or self-driving cars