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Digital Societies: towards a human-centred, trustworthy and value-based digital transition

On Thursday, 24 September 2020, Germany, Portugal and Slovenia organized a joint Trio event, currently presiding the Council of the EU, as a side event of the 75th United Nations General Assembly: “Digital Societies: towards a human-centred, trustworthy and value-based digital transition”.

Dr. Polonca Blaznik sitting at the computer

Dr. Polonca Blaznik, Director of the Information Society Office at the Ministry of Public Administration | Author The Ministry of Pubic Administration

Digital transformation creates new opportunities for an active involvement of all members of society. Nevertheless, on the path to digital transformation, we cannot ignore global challenges: climate change, health crises, growing inequality…

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that innovative digital tools can help us tackle such challenges more effectively. There is also a need for a more integrated and coordinated approach. Because the crisis is global, the response requires global cooperation.

The European Union - with the joint efforts of the Trio, currently presiding the Council of the EU, and the European Commission's new work program - is promoting the path to digital transformation based on fundamental democratic rights and ethical values.

The primary objective of the event was to bring together governments, regional organizations, development partners, United Nations entities, the current Presidency of the Council of the EU, the European Commission, the private sector and academia to exchange best practices and views on how to support digital transformation in the world after COVID-19.

Dr. Polonca Blaznik, Director of the Information Society Office at the Ministry of Public Administration, initially emphasized the importance of digital skills for social inclusion, which has been evident in the last decade, but the global COVID-19 crisis has brought us to a situation where we see that we need more action in the field of digital inclusion and we need it now. As she said, we need to adapt to new ways of communicating and working. The pandemic situation has also revealed a number of shortcomings, including lack of digital skills that could even deepen the digital divide between different groups in society.