The objective of the Digital Transition Action Plan is to provide improved public services to citizens, to support European cities in exploiting the possibilities of digitalisation, and assist European businesses to develop new innovations and create new business opportunities for global markets. The action plan is part of the implementation of Urban Agenda for EU, adopted by the Pact of Amsterdam in May 2016. The plan, linked to several EU level strategies, such as the Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe, European Commission's Digital Agenda, forms one of the seven pillars of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the EU eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020. Given the digitalisation great potential, it is essential that the digital transition in Europe is based on sound prerequisites that place the interest of the citizen first, taking into account the challenges – such as security and privacy concerns - which come with new technologies.
In general, the current state of digital transition of cities is very diverse. Large cities tend to be at the forefront of digitalisation due to higher demand for more complex services and interactions, and their capacities to develop and provide those services. The main factors constraining the digital transition of cities are lack of funds and lack of skills, although the scope and impact of these constraints differ. Another factor, especially inherent in smaller cities and towns, is a lack of strategic vision. Enhancing the capacities of cities to deliver digital services and tackling these challenges requires policy responses at all levels and by all actors, specifically targeting regions and cities that are lagging behind with their digital transformation and allowing them to become more attractive and competitive.
The Digital Transition partnership emphasises creating and offering European solutions to the global digitalisation markets. In this context, cities have a central role to play, as they are providing the services for their citizens and creating conditions for businesses. The partnership proposes initiatives on the topics where digitalisation can have the most profound effect in transforming urban governance, quality and fulfilment of life of its citizens, and the most advantageous business and growth opportunities for the businesses. The AP includes 15 actions that aim at achieving more than one objective.
The plan aims at:
• Generalise and diffuse digital skills to everybody:
- Action 1: Mainstreaming EU Digital Competence Framework for citizens into daily use;
- Action 2: Digital Neighbourhood Instrument;
- Action 3: Capacity-Building and Spreading of Pilots in Regions and Cities
• Enable and implement citizen-centric e-government:
- Action 4: Helping cities develop a user-centric eGovernment model;
- Action 5: Developing the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) at a local level (“DESI local”)
• Provide value through free and fair access to open/public/personal data:
- Action 6: Build a data taxonomy at a European level;
- Action 7: Access and reuse of private sector data of general interest by the public authorities;
- Action 8: Specify and monitoring of standardized Planned Land Use data for formal and informal urban planning participation processes;
- Action 9: MyData in digital transition – Elaboration of a European roadmap on “mydata”
• Accelerate and adopt digital emerging technologies in cities:
- Action 10: Building innovation and dissemination accelerator;
- Action 11: Support agile experimentation of emerging digital technologies;
- Action 12: Implementing the digital framework for emerging technologies within the digital infrastructure
• Adopt business model thinking to drive urban digital transition:
- Action 13: Co-creating a business model approach for cities;
- Action 14: Development of 5G regulation to enable local micro-operators in cities
• Strengthen the ability for cities to act within the digital transition:
- Action 15: Implementing Digital transition in European Cities
The EIP-SCC Marketplace strongly supports the Partnership on Digital Transition and acknowledges that the Draft Action Plan advocates on many Actions on which our clusters strongly believe. For instance, the Citizen Focus Action Cluster with the ‘Manifesto on Citizen Engagement’ supports Actions 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9 of the Draft Action Plan, while the vertical clusters advocate on Actions 10, 11, 12.
The Public Feedback on the Draft Action Plan of the Partnership on Digital Transition is now open. The European Commission is calling on Europeans for contributions before 16th March.
We would, thus, invite our active stakeholders to take part in the public consultation, submitting their comments on the Action Plan.