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Publication | 19 February 2021

Public Sector Modernisation for EU Recovery and Resilience

Modernising the public sector with the help of digital technologies can help Europe emerge stronger and more resilient from the current crisis. Research at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) identified 12 recommendations for how policy makers, public sector managers, and civil servants can help make this a reality.

The global coronavirus pandemic has hit European economies and societies hard, and exposed governments’ limits to react to this unique challenge. In response, the EU has set up the Recovery and Resilience Facility to help it emerge stronger and more resilient from the current crisis. €672.5 billion will be made available in loans and grants to support reforms and investments undertaken by Member States. At least 20% of these funds have to be used to foster the digital transformation. Digitally enabled public sector modernisation is one of seven flagship areas for investments and reforms. Getting public sector modernisation right will be crucial for Europe’s future.

Based on extensive ongoing and completed research, the Digital Economy Unit at the JRC proposes 12 concrete recommendations for actors at various levels in the public sector:

  • Policy makers and regulators
  • Public sector managers
  • Civil servants and technicians, and
  • Cross-cutting recommendations

The recommendations are summed up in the new policy brief ‘Public Sector Modernisation for EU Recovery and Resilience’. This policy brief is based on research from across a number of completed and ongoing research projects at the JRC. It focuses on creating public value for European citizens and businesses, in order to make the modernisation of the public sector with digital technologies transformative, impactful, ethical, and democratic. Far from claiming to be a complete guide to public sector reform, the policy brief is an invitation to discussion, learning, and further research.

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