Commission releases a new strategy to drive its internal digital transformation

(Source: European Commission)

Today, the Commission adopted a new Digital Strategy under the theme “Next Generation Digital Commission”. This corporate strategy sets out a vision for a digitally transformed, more agile administration that will contribute to the achievement of the EU’s strategic priorities, including Europe’s Digital Decade and the European Green Deal. Smooth interaction between people, processes, data and technology will underpin a fully digitalised Commission.

Building on the previous (2018) digital strategy of the Commission, the new strategy provides a corporate approach to further streamline current IT initiatives, refocus on digital modernisation and innovative service provision. It is based on guiding principles, which will be reinforced by the update, such as digital by default and once-only, security and privacy, openness and transparency, interoperability and cross-border, and user-centric, data-driven and agile.

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration, said:  “With this new Digital Strategy we show that the Commission is ready to lead by example for the digital transformation of administrations in Europe’s Digital Decade. We want to harness the potential of technology in a way that puts people in the centre and secures the sovereignty and resilience of our institution.”

The corporate strategy encompasses five strategic objectives:

  • Foster a digital culture – empower all staff and equip them with the necessary skills and tools to think ‘digital first’, whilst encouraging cross-functional teams and collaboration, supported by a flexible and accessible digital workplace;
  • Enable digital-ready EU policymaking – ensure digital technologies are considered from the very beginning of the policy cycle, making new policies fit for the Digital Decade;
  • Empower business-driven digital transformation – support Commission departments in reinventing their business by leveraging innovative technologies and data reuse;
  • Ensure a seamless digital landscape – efficiently manage a streamlined portfolio of IT systems;
  • Sustain a green, secure and resilient infrastructure as the foundation of the Commission’s operations and new ways of working.

The digital transformation of the Commission, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue to gather momentum with a broadened scope going far beyond IT. The strategy strengthens internal cooperation and knowledge sharing between departments and with Member States. There will be increased support for staff to boost their digital skills. Energy-efficient IT equipment supported with the new ways of working will contribute to a more inclusive and sustainable Commission. Strong IT security management, a commitment to move to zero-trust architecture and a strengthened cyber-awareness programme for staff, will bolster resilience against increasing cyberthreats. The progress towards the Digital Commission of the future will be tracked regularly to keep the digital transformation on course.

The Commission has made big strides in digital transformation over the last years. A digital workplace programme permitted all employees to shift to remote working within days of the start of the pandemic. This new strategy brings the shift from digital skills to digital culture, from using technology as a service to digitalisation of business and support to digital-ready policymaking amongst others.

Background

Since the adoption of the first European Commission Digital Strategy in 2018, the path towards a digital EU has accelerated. The target of full digitalisation of the Commission and of Europe by 2030 has been reinforced by President Ursula von der Leyen in her 2019-2024 political guidelines for the Commission.

Today’s launch of a new digital strategy contributes to the delivery of the EU’s strategic priorities based on European values and principles for digitalisation, such as a human-centred approach, digital inclusion, digital sovereignty, trust, and ethical use of innovative technologies.

This strategy sets the framework for the urgent digitalisation of our services and policymaking and prepares the Commission to support EU Member States in their digital transition, in line with Europe’s Digital Decade.

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