WRITTEN ADDRESS OF VICE-PRESIDENT ANSIP TO THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE HIGH LEVEL CONFERENCE ON DIGITAL & EGOVERNMENT IN VIENNA, ON 26 SEPTEMBER 2018
VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
Brussels, 26 September 2018
I am delighted to address the participants of the High Level Conference on Digital & eGovernment organised by the Austrian Presidency in Vienna. I think we share the conviction that digital transformation of the public sector helps our societies evolve and flourish.
Over the last years, the European Union has promoted open, transparent and collaborative governments designed around digital delivery of public goods. The aim is simple: We want to make life easier for our citizens and businesses. We see a model of governance without barriers, which encourages citizens and community to get involved, and administrations to interact with each other, and with civil society, businesses and citizens across Europe. The Tallinn declaration signed by all EU governments is an unparalleled marker of this joint commitment.
Transforming government is not a one-off exercise. It is an ongoing process. This Conference is an excellent opportunity to speak openly amongst colleagues, to discuss achievements and about what remains to be done, urgently, to accelerate the digital transformation of public administrations across the EU.
For example, the Single Digital Gateway, which also includes the "Once Only" principle, will make it easier for people and companies to manage their paperwork online, be it in their home country or when working, living or doing business in another EU country. Citizens and businesses are placed at the heart of tomorrow's public service provision.
Digital solutions are also instrumental to reinforce trust between citizens and governments. I call upon Member States and administrations to commit to using their digital transformation as an opportunity to bridge gaps. We will reach greater inclusion, security, transparency and accountability online.
In today's important conference, you will discuss about the way forward for eIDAS, just two days before the regulation on electronic identification and trust services is fully coming into force. We cannot repeat it too often and loud enough: eIDAS is a cornerstone of the Digital Single Market. eIDAS is one of our most powerful tools to empower and protect users online. We should make full use of its potential. I call on Member States, the private sector and online intermediaries – and EU bodies – to accelerate its adoption.
In Tallinn, the EU's countries committed to developing an eGovernment to „respect, support and enhance the fundamental freedoms of people, such as the freedoms of expression, privacy and the right to protection of personal data".
This commitment guides our work. The ultimate goal is to empower citizens and businesses in today's digital world. Digital must be a driver for social and political inclusion as well as for economic growth. This, in turn, paves the way towards true digital inclusion and democracy - particularly relevant in view of the forthcoming European elections.
I am looking forward to the outcome of your discussions and wish you best success for inspiring and fruitful sessions.