The Greek Minister of Digital Governance, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, participated at the forum ‘Verso Sud (Looking Southward): European strategy for a new geopolitical, economic and socio-cultural season in the Mediterranean’ held on Saturday in Sorrento, Italy.

This is organized by the Minister for Southern Italy & Territorial Cohesion, Mara Carfagna, and attended by the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, and the Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, among several others.

Reducing bureaucracy has always been the aim of the e-governance ministry of Greece and its unfolding digital transition policy, noted Pierrakakis, and he added that “the governments of the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, share the same vision regarding digital policy.”

The the Greek e-governance ministry, Pierrakakis told the forum, went ahead with two major reforms: “the first one was for all digital projects to be carried out exclusively by our ministry, and to manage those by a central budget account, which was significantly boosted with funds from the EU’s Recovery Fund.” The second reform was “the practical interoperability of all state services under one [digital] roof.”

More than 1,400 electronic services are now offered via the Greek government’s online public portal, underlined the Greek minister. Some 567 million requests for digital services have been put through the system since 2009, he noted, compared to 9 million requests registered in early 2019.

The role of Covid-19 pandemic in accelerating the implementation of the digital transition policy of Greece was very significant, he added, “as it brought the future forward.”

Greece and Italy have learned rather a lot from each other, he added, as Greece followed Italy’s approach concerning the microsatellites program, and Italy followed Greece’s approach from its ‘Smart Cities’ program.