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All EU Member States adopted the Strasbourg Declaration outlining the coordination strategy for public administrations.

The new Strasbourg Declaration

Published on: 22/03/2022 Last update: 20/06/2023 News

The Declaration on the Common values and challenges of European Public Administrations underlines an overarching support of open source and interoperability within the public sector.


On 16 and 17 March, the 27 EU ministers in charge of public administration, public transformation and civil service, alongside the European Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn as well as the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira, met at the National Institute of Public Service (Institut National du Service Public).

The event aimed to discuss common challenges and opportunities for European public administrations such as digital transformation, transparency and openness of public administrations, new organisations for labour, and the European mobility of civil servants. This gathering follows the previous meeting on 22 June 2021, held by the then Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. 

Despite the fact that administrative cooperation lies under exclusive competence of the Member States, the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for broader cooperation across the European Union. As the principal outcome of the meeting, the ministers adopted the Strasbourg Declaration on the Common values and challenges of European Public Administrations, which lays out the coordination strategy amongst the Member States on the aforementioned policy areas. Particularly, the challenges brought by the pandemic led the 27 ministers to focus on three main policy areas:

  • Attractive, modern and innovative civil services that lead by example;
  • Transparent and resilient public services that meet users' expectations;
  • High quality, inclusive digital public services that respect European values.

In the context of the third area, open source finds its place as one of the crucial means to pursue for the delivery of digital public services in line with EU values and laws. Specifically, the Member States agreed to encourage the use of open source software within public administrations and their sharing, by:

  • Recognising the major role played by secure open source solutions in the transformation of public administrations, which allow for the pooling of investments among multiple organisations, offer transparency and interoperability by default and guarantee control over the technologies used as well as greater technological independence;
  • Promoting the sharing of open source solutions created or used by administrations within the European Union, which ultimately results in enhanced collaboration between public administrations;
  • Advancing a fair redistribution of the value created by open source solutions, especially for those who produce and share open source code.

Under the same policy area, interoperability is considered as another crucial theme of the Strasbourg Declaration. In particular, the ministers flag the need to foster interoperability at all levels as a key tool to both boost the deployment of user-friendly digital identity solutions and wallets in the realm of the eIDAS revision as well as to facilitate the sharing of digital tools and data between Member States’ administrations and European administrations. With regards to the latter, Member States agreed to strengthen interoperability by:

  • Supporting initiatives aimed at strengthening mutual knowledge between European administrations of their digital projects and tools;
  • Promoting the joint work of the network of Chief Information Officers ("CIO Network") of the Member States to reinforce knowledge sharing of digital challenges, solutions and methods amongst European administrations;
  • Striving for greater pooling and sharing of digital investments between European administrations in order to benefit from high quality, shared and cross-border digital services;
  • Accelerating the sharing of prioritised information and data between administrations at European, national, regional and local levels, when relevant, in order to accelerate administrative simplification and proactiveness through better interoperability and the implementation of the once-only principle;
  • Working towards a better and secure use of public sector data by developing consolidated or interoperable public data spaces at the European level through the definition of common data standards.