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Berlin Declaration on Digital Society and Value-Based Digital Government

EU Member States sign the Berlin Declaration – a proposal for digital transformation promoting inclusion and participation

On Tuesday 8 December, the EU Member States signed the Berlin Declaration on Digital Society and Value-Based Digital Government. The proposal aims to fuel “the pioneering role of public administrations in driving a value-based digital transformation of our European societies”. The Berlin Declaration succeeds the earlier declarations of Tallinn (2016) and Malmö (2009). In line with its predecessors, this document builds upon the concept of a “service-oriented, reliable and innovative government” and stresses that the public sector must lead the way in driving and facilitating technological innovation whilst tackling the challenges that society faces today.

The declaration proposes several priorities that would benefit governments in becoming a leader in the digital sphere:

  1. Respect the fundamental rights and democratic principles in the digital world;
  2. Promote inclusion and participation; 
  3. Foster digital literacy and empowerment; 
  4. Enhance trust and allow safe participation in the digital world;
  5. Bolster the digital sovereignty of Europe and facilitate interoperability;
  6. Create human-centric AI systems that focus on value; and
  7. Cultivate a resilient and sustainable digital society. 

The Berlin Declaration is the result of the collaboration between the German Presidency of the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the European Union Informal Network of Chief Information Officers (CIOs). It clearly puts European principles and rights at the heart of the digital transformation of the Member States’ administrations. The full report is available online.

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