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The digital State of the European Union

south hall 2b
30 minutes


What is the European digital identity? How can you access digital public services from another EU country? Why is it so hard to create an European ecosystem of digital services? Does the EU support open source?

This (opinionated) talk will present the current State of the digital services in the EU. Will summarize the normative and technical challenges, and their impacts on the resulting platforms in terms of UX, cybersecurity and maintainability.

TalkEthics, Philosophy & Politics


European Union members started many years ago to plan common infrastructures in order to provide shared digital services to EU citizens. Some of them are consolidated, like the visa and the VAT information system, others are going to be revised - like the eID. Many new services are under development.

The cornerstone of these services is the "Once Only Principle": citizens provide diverse data only once in contact with public administrations, while public administration bodies take actions to internally share and reuse these data – even across borders.

After a brief presentation of some existing EU services (e.g. participate to an EC consultation authenticating with your eID, VAT information system API, the EU data portal , ..) the talk will cover:

  • the four categories of challenges: legal -> organizational -> semantic -> technical, and the importance of addressing them in order;
  • how shifting-right challenges from the legal and organizationa level down to the technical one affects the UX and the cybersecurity of the resulting platforms;
  • challenges in procurement.

Finally, a focus on the technical level:

  • the role that the EU can play to support open source and open standards.

The speaker

Roberto Polli

Roberto Polli

Roberto works in Par-Tec, designing resilient, cloud and enterprise architectures based on open source components.

He was part of the Italian Government's Digital Team, the task force created to develop "the Country's operating system". There he worked to create a national API Ecosystem based on internet standards.

He's a Red Hat Certified Engineer and MySQL/MongoDB certified DBA, but loves maintaining free software.

A life ago he took a Math degree, and he's really proud of it.

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