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Challenges in the Digitalization of the Public Administration


Naples, May 7th 2019

Enel Foundation was one of the supporters of COTEC Italy in the organization of the XIII Symposium COTEC Europe uniting Heads of State of Italy, Spain and Portugal for a meeting to discuss trends in public administration and the digital world.

On May 7th, at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, business experts, representatives from public administration and institutional and political leaders from Italy, Spain and Portugal convened for the XIII Symposium COTEC Europe themed  "PA 4.0: Rethinking the Public Administration for a Digital World" .

This annual meeting between innovation Foundations from Italy, Spain and Portugal has become a reference forum for discussing topics at the intersection of digital economy, technological innovation, policy and collaboration for the competitive development of Mediterranean Europe.

A long way to go for digitalization, especially in Italy

From the data provided by the European Commission, COTEC Italia Foundation has pointed out that the level of digitalization in Italy is a priority that needs to be tackled as the country is currently behind many other European countries in this field.

Consequently, Italy is also in the lower part of the rankings when it comes to the digitalization of public services, scoring a last place with regard to the obligation to use Internet to submit requests to the Public Administration.

On other areas, Italy shows a more advanced level of digitalization, in line with the European average. For example, regarding the possibility to carry out a series of administrative fulfilments online, including the indication of the new residence, to the communication of a birth or the possibility to carry out all the formalities that are necessary to start a new business or manage an existing one. On the health front, concerning the possibility to acquire online health services, Italy occupies an intermediate position.

This elaboration provided by COTEC Italia set the stage for discussions covering the prospective developments of digital technologies in the medium term, the need to rethink human resources policies in order to create public services of the future as well as the opportunity to rethink regulatory processes.

Sharing of experiences and best practices

The Symposium also featured best practices sharing by private sector technology providers from each of the three countries on digitalization of Public Administration.

High-level experts shared experiences and discussed the challenges of Public Administration 4.0 in a roundtable moderated by Riccardo Luna, Director of AGI agency Italy.

Roberto Viola, director general of DG Connect of the European Commission, Rogelio Velasco, Minister for Economy, Knowledge, Enterprise and University of Andalusia, Maria Manuel Leitao Marques, former minister for the modernisation of the public administration of Portugal and Luca Attias, Commissioner, Digital Agenda.

The day closed with the interventions of the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, the King of Spain, Filipe VI and the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, introduced by the president of COTEC Italia, Luigi Nicolais.

During the meeting the winners of Hack.Gov, the Marathon of Creativity, organized by AGI agency Italy in collaboration with the Campania region and the University of Naples Federico II were also presented. With the patronage of AgID-Agency for Digital Italy, the initiative has seen more than two hundred young talents from all over the world challenging themselves at the Apple Developer Academy, a symbolic place of innovation in Europe, to devise innovative and technologically advanced solutions in the field of public administration.