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Eurofedop holds seminar on ‘Digitalisation and the quality of public services’ in Vienna, Austria, on 22-24.09.2021

Wednesday 1 September 2021

There was a time, even not so long ago …

… when a clear distinction was made between working in the public sector and working in the private sector. The private sector was said to be dynamic, at the top of the evolution, where new inventions were made, the public sector’s main feature was one of steadiness, reliability, quality, to serve society, citizens and the economy.

Today, that general image has changed. Public services have closed the gap and have become dynamic themselves, adopting new methods of serving the public and new methods of achieving that goal through work.

Maybe, at first, there was reluctance among public servants to enter the era of the computer or, later on in the evolution, accept far-reaching digitalisation, arguing that the contact with the public should never be disturbed, but in the meantime, digitalisation has conquered all parts of society, including that part where citizens should be able to rely on the State for assuring progress in the field of the economy and the well-being of all citizens.

Today, developments such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality show that progress never stops and that, for us as public servant representatives, it is important to ask questions about why, how and on which conditions national governments should aim at not missing that train.

Eurofedop firmly believes in the benefits of having good contacts with the employers’ side and is eager to learn more about new digital developments being implemented in the sector of Health and Postal Services, the Police, Defence, Local and National Government, Justice and Prisons … By creating occasions for social partners to share visions with each other, it becomes easier to find a common understanding and we, on our part, can be more successful in defending the interests of the workers we represent.

Digitalisation also affects the way trade unions work. We want to be critical about the way in which public service trade unions adopt new ways of working in accordance with new ways of working (digitally) in society. Shall we take over the company style or is there a difference in the way in which trade unions work?

In any case, with the implementation of any new development, it is essential that the quality of public services be preserved and, in an ideal world, the life of all parties involved, not to forget the public service workforce, be improved.

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