Benchmark report “eGovernment that works for people”

The eGovernment Benchmark is a yearly monitoring instrument of the EC to provide insight into the use of digital technologies in the public sector. The eGovernment Benchmark report evaluates progress on key components of the eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020, the Tallinn Declaration and the accomplishment of a European Digital Single Market. The eGovernment Benchmark uses eight life events, measured every two years to capture the landscape of public services. According to the 2020 eGovernment Benchmark report, every one of the 36 countries measured has improved the digital delivery of public services over the last two years. The European frontrunners in eGovernment are Malta (overall score of 97%), Estonia (92%), Austria (87%) and Latvia (87%). These countries score highest across all four top-level benchmarks, followed closely by Denmark (84%), Lithuania (83%) and Finland (83%).

Study “Shaping the digital transformation in Europe”

The study “Shaping the digital transformation in Europe” outlines four objectives for Europe’s digital transformation: building and deploying digital solutions for societal challenges and climate; reinvigorating democracy, trust and diversity; securing Europe’s digital technological sovereignty and cybersecurity; and boosting the economy and competitiveness. The study discusses potential signature initiatives for Europe, such as developing and scaling EU tech ecosystems to match the global best and position Europe as a leader in key new frontier digital technologies around Centres of Excellence enabled by the collaboration between Super-Universities, Public Authorities, established Industries and vibrant Start-ups. The study also aims at creating a Digital leadership instrument for innovation procurement of digital technologies of European strategic importance, combining innovation funding and public procurement as well as building EU data platforms for strategic B2B sectors, enabling as an example, the Europe-wide sharing of health data (or similarly utilities or transport data) to improve healthcare outcomes, research and fuel innovation whilst respecting privacy and citizen trust. Furthermore, the study wants to empower cities and communities across Europe by promoting and enabling development and equal access to citizen-centric smart city technologies for better public and private services across transport, health, energy, social and community services.

Report “Application Programming Interfaces in Governments: Why, What and How”

The JRC report “Application Programming Interfaces in Governments: Why, What and How” proposes a framework of practical recommendations for their adoption in the public sector and the development of new applications for citizens. According to the report, the chief advantage of application programming interfaces (APIs) lies in their modularity: digital processes and datasets can easily be packaged into modules, which can be re-used and recombined for different applications. Moreover, APIs cannot be bypassed if public services want to move from eGovernment – the digital replication of a paper-based bureaucracy – to smart government, which makes full use of the opportunities provided by digitalisation. The JRC’s Science for Policy report analyses in detail the relevance of APIs in governments and suggests the way to adopt them. Additionally, the JRC technical report provides a detailed practical framework that organisations can use to improve their API infrastructure. It contains advice on API strategy, tactics, and operations related to policy support, platform and ecosystems, developers, and processes. Finally, the recommendations for governments include in the report, amongst others, prioritising key areas for API deployment such as the health sector; raising awareness of the importance of API culture among decision-makers; and ironing out the legal ownership issues that using foreign datasets entails.

Commission calls on Member States to boost fast network connectivity and develop joint approach to 5G rollout

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager presented this week in the context of the Digital Package two proposals to advance the Commissions digital agenda. The first proposal is a new Regulation for the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking to maintain and advance Europe’s leading role in supercomputing technology to underpin the entire digital strategy and to ensure the Union’s competitiveness in the global setting. This new regulation sets out an ambitious mission and a substantially larger budget of €8 billion, for the period 2021-2033 in order to federate European supercomputing and quantum computing resources. Closely linked to this Regulation, is the second proposal which is a Recommendation calling Member States to boost investment in very high-capacity broadband connectivity infrastructure, including 5G. The timely deployment of 5G networks will offer significant economic opportunities for the years to come, as a crucial asset for European competitiveness, sustainability, and a major enabler for future digital services. Member States are expected to develop a toolbox with best practices to invest in connectivity.

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