EU commissioner: Digitalization is at the heart of sustainable recovery

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President Kersti Kaljulaid and European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen. Source: Raigo Pajula

Speaking at the e-Governance Conference on Wednesday, Jutta Urpilainen, the European Commissioner for International Partnerships highlighted three areas the European Union will focus on in the next digital decade and called the Estonian government to work closely with the Commission to shape transformative actions on digital development.

In her speech, she emphasized the need to focus on digital skills and digitalization in education, a human-centric approach to digitalization, and digital identity development.

"This is the first time digitalization is a defined priority," Commissioner Urpilainen said, referring to the Digital Europe Programme, the first financial instrument of the EU for European digital projects that will be launched in June.

"Digitalization must be at the heart of a sustainable recovery. Through joint partnerships and investments, we will bridge the digital divide and grow our digital economies. This requires multilateral governance and a human-centric approach with an emphasis on digitals skills, e-governance and eID," the commissioner said.

She called the Estonian government to work closely with the Commission to shape EU's transformative actions on digital development. "I admire Estonia, who excels in this field and with whom we work closely on the Digital4Development Hub. Your active involvement is invaluable. We are counting on you to help us shape transformative Team Europe actions on digital," Urpilainen noted.

In the opening speech of the e-Governance Conference, President Kersti Kaljulaid noted that digital solutions and systems should be more globally shared and used. "We have seen disruption, regionalization; now it is time for global service markets. We must create our digital systems and clouds in a way which will be permissive and open to this kind of cooperation," Kaljulaid said.

She also shared a vision of what a collaboration of this kind could eventually result in. "I hope that in 5 years, every baby born will be registered simply by using their mother's or father's telephone. Governments would stop losing their people only because they do not know who they are and where they are. That is my dream and COVID has made this dream more understandable globally," Kaljulaid said.

ERR News is broadcasting the e-Governance Academy's 7th e-Governance Conference live. The conference will feature 50 experts and leaders in the area of digital government development. The full program and the broadcast can be viewed here.

Additional information about the conference is available on the conference's website.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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