Pierrakakis: The Mitsotakis government and the Draghi government share the same vision in digital politics

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The Minister of State and Digital Government, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, participated in the conference “Looking to the South.

“Europe’s strategy for a new geopolitical, economic and socio-cultural period in the Mediterranean”, the work of which took place in Sorrento, Lower Italy, with the participation of Italian President Sergio Matarella and Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

Mr. Pierrakakis took part in the thematic unit “Building interconnected economies: a dialogue between the Mediterranean States” together with the Italian Minister of Innovation and Digital Transition, Vittorio Colao.

In his statement, he referred to the Greek experience, in which, as he said, “he identifies an important lesson, as there are different paths that each country follows in this digital transition”.

“We were lucky as Greeks because we had time before the elections to prepare this ministry. The last elections were held in Greece in 2019 and the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, was the leader of the opposition and had served as Minister of Public Administration in the past. So, in a very symbolic move, he decided to abolish the ministry he led and create a completely new one, with a very specific goal, to change the way the state operates. “Our main performance indicator, as they say in management, was to reduce bureaucracy,” said the Minister of Digital Government.

“The Mitsotakis government and the Draghi government share the same vision in digital politics,” he said. Referring to the project and the main objectives of his ministry, Mr. Pierrakakis added:

“We undertook this task and proceeded with two very substantial reforms. The first was that all digital projects should be done through our ministry (all the “procurement” of these projects), centrally, and that there should also be a central budget for them, which was significantly increased with the money from the Recovery Fund. The second reform is the possibility of interoperability of all state services “.

Kyriakos Pierrakakis referred to the “politicocentric approach” that is followed. As he said, the way the state has structured its services must change.

“This is very important for one main reason: The state services in a country are not made according to how they will serve the citizen more easily but how they will better serve the state itself”, the minister explained, during his intervention at the Sorrento conference and added:

“For example, in a life event such as the birth of a child or the loss of a loved one, there is an interaction with the State. Before 2020 one had to visit 5 public services for the birth of one’s child and about 9 when one lost a loved one while for the purchase of a property one had to go to more than 13 public services. In all these life events the structure was state-centered and not politically-centered.

Technology enables us to change this by merging registries and services. So, in March 2020, which coincided with the first weekend of the first lockdown, we created the single portal for the entire Greek State, gov.gr. There we gathered the 501 existing services that were scattered in the various ministries.

Today they amount to 1,400. From the 9 million digital transactions we had in 2019 in three years, these amounted to 567 million. In practice, it means that the Greek citizen survived an average of 60 “queues”.

The Minister of Digital Government, finally, stressed that this transformation of the state was significantly affected by the pandemic.

“We had a plan before, but the coronavirus made us change the way we planned things, brought the future closer to the present. We also started learning from each other. For example, Greece followed the Italian approach in the program of microsatellites and Italy the Greek in the program of “Smart Cities” “, concluded Mr. Pierrakakis.

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