hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of Publications Office of the European Union using Archive-It. This page was captured on 15:51:58 Aug 27, 2021, and is part of the European Union collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page. Loading media information Skip to main content
Shaping Europe’s digital future logo

Digital public services and environments

The Commission is using digital technologies to improve public services and develop smart cities.

iStock by Getty Images - 1146418702 metamorworks

Smart public services, also known as digital public services or eGovernment, refer to the use of technology to provide services to citizens at local, regional and national levels. They bring many opportunities to both citizens and businesses: students can apply to study abroad, citizens can open bank accounts online, and workers can file taxes with the click of a button.

The EU is working to help public administrations across Europe to make the change to digital so all citizens can enjoy the benefits of smart public services during the Digital Decade. It is focusing on reducing barriers to public services and ensuring they are accessible across borders. 

Actions already taken by the Commission include:

  • ensuring European platforms can work together and interact with one another
  • funding large-scale e-participation projects
  • encouraging public services, businesses and citizens to share solutions through the JoinUp platform
  • standardising electronic health records

One key aspect of digital public services is ensuring we have a secure digital identity. Having a digital identity allows us to prove who we are – or what business we own – to online services.

The EU is also supporting the development of smart cities across Europe.

Just like smart public services, smart cities use technology to become more efficient. They do this by using sensors to collect data, and using this data to improve how the city works. For example, smart energy meters help us to see if a building is being heated efficiently. Meanwhile, data collected on transport can help us improve road capacity and reduce the impact on the environment. 

Smart cities also create direct benefits for citizens, such as safer public spaces and support for an ageing population.


New rules on Open data and reuse of public sector information start to apply

Tomorrow, 17 July 2021, will mark the deadline for Member States to transpose the revised Directive on open data and reuse of public sector information into national law. The updated rules will stimulate the development of innovative solutions such as mobility apps, increase transparency by opening the access to publicly funded research data, and support new technologies, including artificial intelligence.

Commission seeks views on data sharing

The European Commission has launched an open public consultation on the announced Data Act aiming to create a fair data economy by ensuring access to and use of data. The consultation seeks to gather views from citizens, businesses, online platforms, academics, civil society, administrations and all interested parties. It is open until 3 September.

Europe's Digital Decade: Commission sets the course towards a digitally empowered Europe by 2030

The Commission recently presented a vision, targets and avenues for a successful digital transformation of Europe by 2030. This is also critical to achieve the transition towards a climate neutral, circular and resilient economy. The EU's ambition is to be digitally sovereign in an open and interconnected world, and to pursue digital policies that empower people and businesses to seize a human centred, sustainable and more prosperous digital future. This includes addressing vulnerabilities and dependencies as well as accelerating investment.

Related Content

Dig deeper

Procurement of ICT innovation

The European Commission supports innovation procurement as a tool to deliver solutions to economic and societal challenges.

Smart Cities and Communities

Smart cities and communities are helping to tackle urban challenges, foster local economies, and meet targets set in the European Green Deal.

Trust Services

The EU has introduced rules to strengthen trust services and ensure our online activity is secure across the EU.


The European Commission is working to provide citizens with access to safe and top quality digital services in health and care.

European Open Science Cloud

The European Open Science Cloud is a trusted digital platform for the scientific community, providing seamless access to data and interoperable services.