The European Institute of Romania organised two events in June and July 2021, within the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe, and in continuation of the series of Dialogues@EIR.
The first event, titled “What future do we want for the European Union at home and in the world?”, was organised in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was aimed at identifying the citizens’ expectations regarding the Conference on the Future of Europe.
The second event was focused on discussing digitalisation and digital transformation, taking into consideration the perspectives on digital inclusion, digital public services and smart cities.
Following these two events, a series of conclusions were drawn up:
- The premises for the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) include: the interdependencies between the Member States (including the means through which they were manifested during the sanitary crisis), the transformative processes within the society, strategic resilience understood both at the domestic level, and the external one; sharing of European values and the organisation of inclusive debates, during which the youth should be active participants;
- The Conference on the Future of Europe has the potential to be a more successful format of debate compared to the initial versions, but we have to be careful with the populist political actors who could appeal to the citizens by promoting Eurosceptic or even extremist attitudes;
- Now is the right time for a discussion about the expansion of the European Union’s competencies in the field of health, education and digital/innovation;
- The four crises that can impact the future of Europe are: climate change, the financial crisis, the sanitary crisis and technological disruptions.
- Human capital is the centrepiece in every discussion we have about digitalisation; one of Romania’s problems in this domain is related to the limited understanding of the meaning of digital competencies and how can they be developed among the population;
- Digital public services are fragmented at the local, regional and national levels in Romania; a somewhat inefficient policy was to move online a series of traditionally bureaucratic procedures which are not, in fact, applicable to the digital environment;
- In Romania, we talk a lot about digitalisation (which is just the first step), but in the European Union there are discussions about the digital transition/transformation (which involves processes of thought change, automatization, updating the ways of interaction between the public servants);
- Romanian cities want to become smart cities, but without using data (not necessarily in the policy-making, but regarding simple decisions which are not made based on data) or involving the people (the local brains for finding solutions to community’s problems).
The events recording’ is available (in Romanian) on EIR’s YouTube channel.