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European cities join forces to boost digital transformation in Europe  
​Declaration “JOIN, BOOST, SUSTAIN” for greater uptake of digital solutions and the creation of the European Way of digital transformation was kicked-off in Oulu

Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU underlines the importance of taking forward and scaling up digital solutions. The signing process of the European Declaration to join forces to boost sustainable digital transformation in cities and communities in the EU started in Oulu on 10 December and will continue to the Cities Forum in Porto on 30-31 January and beyond. The Declaration also aims at defining financial, technical, ethical and legal framework for digitalization in Europe. Best practices of digitalization in cities and communities are being explored in Oulu Boost Event 2019.
Martin Brynskov, Chair of Open & Agile Smart Cities:
“Openness and interoperability are at the core of a responsible and agile municipality in the 21st century. By signing the scale-up declaration, cities and communities across Europe, and beyond, are now coming together to set the terms for AI- and IoT-enabled services. As the chair of Open & Agile Smart Cities I am proud to contribute to the movement. With OASC, we already have a platform for cities to sign up and implement open technology and I invite every municipality to join, boost and sustain.”
Anna Lisa Boni, Secretary General, EUROCITIES:
“Cities are constantly innovating and coming up with new digital solutions, always with the benefit of people in mind. This initiative offers a chance to give a real boost to replicate and upscale some of these ideas, making it easier to advance both locally and globally.”
Oulu Boost Event gathers key people on digital transformation
Oulu Boost Event 2019 brings together top-level decision makers and city officials from leading European cities to share insights on how cities are exploiting digital solutions in the process of digital transformation to serve their citizens in a user-centric and effective way. Conference is identifying solutions to scale up city level findings to the European agenda in order to create better public services, emerging innovations and economic growth.
Finland is one of the world’s leading countries in technology, innovation and business. According to Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2018, Finland has the best digital public services in the EU. Oulu, in Northern Finland, is known for its standing as a forerunner in modern technology, especially in advanced radio technology and digital health solutions, and was therefore a perfect choice to host this official side event of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU. Ms. Päivi Laajala, Mayor of Oulu, is the first signatory of the declaration.
Ms Päivi Laajala, Mayor of Oulu:
“We are here in Oulu, to join forces to boost sustainable digital transformation in cities and communities in the European Union. In the end, all comes down to cooperation and joint efforts in the hopes of creating better cities for our families.”
Declaration of Digital Transformation invites cities to join forces
At a time when European cities and communities are faced with a growing range of challenges of the various impacts of digitalization, this declaration marks an important step in the launch of the ‘European way’ of digitally transforming cities and communities. Cooperation across geographical areas and between sectors is needed to boost innovation and allow cities and communities to develop efficient, cost-effective and citizen-centric services. Large-scale uptake of these solutions is crucial also making real the ambition of Europe to be a digital frontrunner. Therefore, the deployment and scaling up of open, interoperable, cross-sector and cross-border platforms as means to boost digital transformation is at the heart of this declaration. 
Living-in.EU - the European way of digital transformation in cities and communities
This approach will ensure technological leadership in the EU while respecting European values and diversity, as well as individuals’ digital rights. It is time in the EU to join forces to scale up digital solutions so that at least 300 million Europeans can enjoy a better quality of life in the near future.
More information on the Oulu Boost Event, 4th Cities Forum in Porto and the declaration can be found on living-in.eu
Additional information:
Outi Rouru, Senior Advisor, International Affairs, City of Oulu, Finland
Mobile +358 44 703 1637, ouri.rouru@ouka.fi​

Source: City of Oulu, Eurocities, OASC and ENoLL

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