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The side event was moderated by Ms Anne Carblanc (Head, Digital Economy Policy Division, OECD) and focused on the ways policy can be adjusted to meet the digital economy. The digital transformation is challenging regulation and policy-making due to the fact that existing legislations tend to be obsolete in the digital age. Three approaches have been used: performance-based policies, risk-based policies, and policy flexibility in reinforcement of specific types of regulation.
Mr Paul Chaffey (State Secretary for Local Government and Modernisation, Norway) talked about the phenomenon of the interconnection of different sectors when it comes to data and information. He highlighted that for instance, data owned by one sector could be needed by another to maximise digital transformation. He underlined two main top-level adjustments made in Norway: the establishment of the Government Digitalisation Council, with the mandate of moving the government a step forward in the digital age; and the appointment of a Cabinet Minister for Digitalisation in order to have a voice around the table at cabinet meetings. Finally, he concluded that the priority should be fostering the diffusion and adoption of new technologies
Ms Katrine Winding (Director-General, Danish Business Authority, Denmark) explained why Denmark has been defined a leader in the public sector digitalisation. Using a performance-driven approach, Denmark has fostered the process by strengthening co-operation between public sector authorities and co-creation with the private sector. Moreover, a push for services which are digital by default was implemented which resulted in the change of the mindset of bureaucrats were. Finally, she concluded that priority should be given to addressing the issue of responsible behaviour in the digital age through digital means.
Ms Ann Mettler (Head of the European Political Strategy Centre, European Commission) talked about the importance of speed and scale in adjusting to the digital transformation. She argued that the EU can play an important role in giving scale in various ways. First, using the example of standards, she explained that when the 28 EU member states agree on a standard, it often becomes a global standard. Second, the EU has an important role in creating synergies and platforms for discussion about the different national strategies such as various ones on artificial intelligence (AI). Finally, she underlined the establishment of projects such as projects of common interest (PCIs) as examples of cross-border infrastructure projects linking EU countries for common interests.
Mr Marco Bellezza (Legal Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister, Italy) explained the approach undertaken by the Italian government in using existing infrastructures in place and tackling policy gaps focusing on the support of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in embracing the digital transformation. Furthermore, he stressed Italy’s two main programmes meant to support the research on AI and blockchain. With regards to the latter, he praised the call for experts from academia, civil society, and businesses to create a national policy on blockchain. Finally, he argued that education and digital literacy should be among first priorities.
By Stefania Grottola