Better Funding - Draft Action 2: Digital Neighbourhood Instrument

  • Cristina (Commu... profile
    Cristina (Commu...
    5 February 2018 - updated 1 month ago
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/futurium/en/file/draft-action-2-digital-neighbourhood-instrumentDraft Action 2: Digital Neighbourhood Instrument

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According to latest data 169 million EU citizens lack even basic digital skills. This accounts for 44% of Europeans between the ages of 16-74. Lack of access to digital services as well as lack of awareness of digital possibilities can have major impact to the digital divide, resulting also in social divide.

Digital transformation should promote the participation of all people in all aspects of the society. The implementation of digital technologies must not lead to the exclusion of individuals or segments of the population. It needs to consider people’s different ranges of possibilities to interact with digital tools. A mobilising, integrative and inclusive approach to participation is important in order to allow for balanced opinion-making. With the recently signed Tallinn Ministerial Declaration on eGovernment; Member States commit to work to increase the readiness of European citizens and businesses to interact digitally with the public administrations. Through the 'User-centricity principles for design and delivery of digital public services' in the Annex of the Tallinn Declaration, they also commit that the services 'can be used by all in a non-discriminatory manner, with appropriate assistance available upon need'.

Access to ICT such as Broadband connection alone will not be able to sufficiently bridge the existing gap. Additional support for existing and new training and retraining programs for development of digital skills is crucial. Local governments have opportunities to work within the community and reach the citizens who are not involved in any form of formal education and have no access to job related training opportunities.


Public policy must develop strategies to strengthen digital participation and encourage digital skills. Creating assisted spaces, spread in each district, where digital facilitators, operators and trained volunteers, are available for citizens who need information and advice about using computer, surfing the net, accessing online public services etc. In order to reach the target groups it is important that the assistance and training be provided in already established centres of community life such as libraries, community centres, schools, etc. This is also a way to engage more actively citizens in the community's social life and strengthen the relationship between citizens and local public administration and to engage more citizens in the process of co-creation of new services. Examples from existing activities in this field will be studied, such as experiences from Portugal, Germany’s experience in testing capacity building programmes in neighbourhood labs. Accordingly, public spaces should provide access to devices and software and target-group specific services such as helper or mentor structures and networks. Low-threshold and outreach programmes such as gaming projects for young people or senior-friendly tablets for the elderly are already successful and should be further developed.

Main goal the action is implementing: Goal4 - Democratization of digital skills

Level of governance: Local


Pilot projects for access points for people to get support and training for using digital services as well as achieving stronger civic engagement and involving more citizens in the process of co-creation of new services. Access points are established in  places where people usually meet.


  • Giving local authorities access to funding for setting up digital neighbourhood access points and skills development programs. This should be taken into account in the preparation of the next Structural Fund programming period. Piloting of the action should be funded from the existing structural fund resources.
  • Facilitation the collaboration of cities in order to learn how to set up the access points in the  best appropriate for the community way (link to the Action 5).


  • Preparation: Q1-Q2- 2018.
  • Implementation (piloting): Q3/2018 – Q4/2019.
  • Assessment and finalizing of the concept to be used in larger scale: Q2-Q4 2019.

Action leader

Sofia and Oulu.



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