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Fostering the Digitisation of Public Services in the EU: A Stepping Stone to a Digitally Advanced Society

ICT and Digital Agenda
Date: Tuesday, 18 September 2018 10:00 - 16:30

Venue: Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre  |  City: Sint-Joost-ten-Node

Key Speakers

Geoffrey Aerts, Business Development Advisor - Icity.brussels

Stéphanie Lepczynski, Senior Director, Lisbon Council

Andrea Servida, Head of the Unit “eGovernment & Trust” in DG CONNECT, European Commission






EGovernment, namely the delivery of public services with the use of technology, increases administrative efficiency and reduces the administrative burden on businesses and the public. The OECD estimates that, in 2016, about 36% of individuals submitted online forms via public authorities' websites, three times the level registered in 2006, and stressed that the usage of digital services varies according to education, income and age. However, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia, one of the most advanced Member States in terms of digital public services, has remarked that although eGovernment has been among the key European policy topics for more than 15 years, the progress has been too slow to match the speed and size of the challenge.

Even though the main responsibility for implementing eGovernment solutions lies with the Member States, the EU plays an important role in encouraging the exchange of best practice and the development of technological and conceptual solutions, especially when it comes to cross-border bureaucracy, an area in which development is lagging behind compared with eGovernment at national level. Currently, EU efforts are focussed on supporting the interoperability programme, implementing public administration-related initiatives of the Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy, setting in motion the 2016-2020 eGovernment Action Plan, and providing funding for digital government development via various EU instruments, such as the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the ISA programme (Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations) and Horizon 2020. Furthermore, in May 2017 the Commission published a proposal for a Regulation on establishing a Single Digital Gateway to provide information, procedures, assistance and problem solving services, with the aim to reduce as much as possible the additional administrative burden associated with the expansion of business activities to other Member States.

Low level of digitisation of public services and the lack of interoperability between eGovernment systems generate considerable electronic and procedural barriers to the free movement of goods, services and people. Indeed, a Commission report published in April 2017 shows that every year around 1.8 million EU companies need to find information online about the rules and procedures applicable in other Member States, and are therefore obliged to engage in time-consuming and costly research activities. These activities are often made difficult by the incompleteness of single market-related information and by the scarce inter-connectedness and user-friendliness of the available contact points and problem-solving mechanisms. SMEs are particularly affected by these inefficiencies since they often lack the necessary resources to find information and assistance.

This international symposium will offer an invaluable opportunity to consider different ways and strategies to promote the digitisation of public services and foster the deepening of the single market through inter-connectedness at EU level. Furthermore, it will present case studies of local and national eGovernment implementation and analyse how to draw on them to lay down best practice. Finally, it will highlight recent technological innovations and suitable funding sources to boost digitisation in the public sector.

Delegates will:

  • Analyse the administration-related initiatives of the Digital Single Market Strategy and the 2016-2020 eGovernment Action Plan

  • Discuss the Commission proposal for a Single Digital Gateway

  • Assess the challenge of eGovernment at EU level from different perspectives

  • Learn about the available enabling tools at EU level to foster the digitisation of government services

  • Plan for the future of eGovernment in the EU

  • Gain insights on outstanding cases of successful implementations and derive best practice

  • Engage with colleagues on the risks, benefits, consequences and challenges encountered from investing in digitisation




Registration and Morning Refreshments


Chair's Welcome and Opening Remarks


Keeping Track of the Recent Developments in the EU Policy Framework on eGovernment

  • Assessing the Public Administration-Related Initiatives of the Digital Single Market Strategy
  • Analysing the 2016-2020 eGovernment Action Plan
  • Discussing the Commission’s proposal for a Digital Single Gateway


First Round of Discussions


Morning Coffee Break


The Challenge of eGovernment in the EU: Evaluating Hurdles From Different Angles

  • The Provider Perspective: Appraising Obstacles to Digitisation for National and Local Authorities
  • The User Perspective: Dealing with SMEs’ and Citizens’ Concerns
  • Finding the Appropriate Enabling Tools: Financial, Technological and Social Solutions


Second Round of Discussions


Networking Lunch


Financing the Digitisation and the Interconnectedness of Public Services at EU Level

  • The Connecting Europe Facility: Developing  High-Performing, Trans-European Networks for Digital Services
  • The ISA  Programme: Finding Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations
  • Horizon 2020: Funding ICT-enabled Open Government


Third Round of Discussions


Afternoon Coffee Break


Bringing About the Future of eGovernment

  • Saving Time and Money: Creating an Efficient, Secure and Transparent Ecosystem 
  • Building an Advanced E-Society: The Importance of Experimentation
  • Shifting the Paradigm: Moving Basic Services Into a Fully Digital Mode   


Fourth Round of Discussions


Chair's Summary and Closing Remarks


Networking Reception and Refreshments


Symposium Close

** Please note that the programme and speakers are subject to change without notice **


Who Should Attend?


  • Local Authorities and Governments
  • Central Government Departments and Agencies
  • Chief Technology Officers
  • Heads of Information Service
  • Chief Information Officers
  • Academics and Researchers
  • Digital Transformation Leads
  • Business Transformation Managers
  • Chief Executives of Local Authorities
  • Business Representative Organisations
  • Organisation Representing Citizens / Consumers
  • Communication Officers
  • Communications Directors
  • Digital Officers and Managers
  • Web IT and Managers
  • Heads of Business Intelligence
  • Heads of Customer Services
  • Heads of Planning
  • Commissioners
  • Directors of People’s Services
  • Strategic Leads
  • ICT Project Managers





+44 (0)20 3137 8630
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Bolwerklaan 17, 1210 Sint-Joost-ten-Node


All Dates

  • Tuesday, 18 September 2018 10:00 - 16:30

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