How do new technologies affect the way we work in the public sector in Europe?

27 Jun 2014, keywords :

With the internet celebrating its 25th anniversary, this year CESI Europe Academy symposium focused on the use of new technologies in the public sector. The two-day conference saw trade unions debate with NGO's, government representatives and civil society on how the digital revolution has impacted on public service delivery.

How do new technologies affect the way we work in the public sector in Europe?

CESI delegates came together in Tallinn with the aim of uncovering best practices and sharing their experiences of the changes that have occurred for public sector workers as a result of new technologies. The seminar looked in particular at education, security and health as policy areas which have experienced significant developments through technology.

CESI was honoured to have the Estonian Minister for Economic Affairs and Communication Urve Palo (pictured left) open the conference, describing  how the governments actions to embrace the digital revolution. Minister Palo presented e-residency to CESI’s delegates, a measure which opens opportunities in Estonia, whether based in the country or based elsewhere in Europe.

The President of the Europe Academy, Emilio Fatovic, also provided opening remarks describing how education is representative of the deep changes that are taking place in the area of public services in all sectors. Having led a team in designing an innovative ‘Scuol2.0’ school, this is a subject very close to the President’s heart. 

Delegates raised concerns on the impact of new technologies on public sector workers (Photos by Lauri Laan)

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Debate in the room saw many sides at the same time emphasising the need to embrace technology and warning on the dangers and risks which accompany the digital world. The message from many delegates was clear: technology cannot and should not replace workers. Redundancies from new technologies are unacceptable. People are crucial in making #publicserviceswork

Further to that, workers need sufficient training to be able to adapt to new technologies. When invention in new technologies, employers also need to invest in those expected to use the technology. 

Closing the conference, CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger called on delegates to be open to technological advancements and moreover to lead in using new technologies in the public sector. Trade unions can build guidelines on how best to adapt to the Web2.0 age.

A booklet on the exchange of best practices and a charter of recommendations will be published at the outcome of this project, co-funded by the European Commission. All presentations from speakers will be available our website soon.

A delegation from CESI Youth attended the symposium and contributed to the debate (Photos by Lauri Laan)

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CESI would like to thank all the speakers, participants and organisers for their contribution to the symposium. A particular thanks should be paid to Philippe Borremans for moderating the event in Tallinn.

Signature SP&NewTech Tallin 2014