اتمتة البرامج

How did the European economy recover with software automation?

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, EU governments and companies have adapted to the new ways of working and taken various mitigation measures over the following months. At the same time, EU citizens are starting to use more digital solutions, such as video conferencing tools, both for work and for personal reasons.

To address the devastating effects of the crisis, the European Commission has proposed a new and innovative approach to support the recovery of the Union and Member States: the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), which amounts to €672.5 billion in loans and grants.

The Resettlement Fund is the cornerstone of NextGenerationEU, the largest stimulus package ever funded through the EU’s €750 billion budget. To encourage digital recovery in Europe, the European Commission has proposed that member states use at least 20% of RRF funds for digital matters. This decision was supported by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament.

The Permanent Representative of Romania to the European Union and UiPath organized a webinar in November to create a discussion forum on the way forward for robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) in the context of the envisioned plans for the recovery of the European economy.

During his opening remarks, Ambassador Lumenica Odupescu (Permanent Representative, Permanent Representative of Romania to the European Union) said three key words that defined the European future before the COVID-19 pandemic: green, digital, and resilient. All of that is now more important than ever.

These keywords have become the pillars of recovery efforts launched to mitigate the economic consequences of COVID-19. The Regional Framework proposed by the European Commission is the instrument that aims to support long-term reforms and investments in Member States, particularly in green and digital transformation priorities, to enable and enhance the productivity and resilience of the EU economy. For more details, listen to the full recording of the webinar “European Economic Recovery with Software Automation”.

The situation in Europe

During the event, Ambassador Odupescu presented how the Romanian National Agency for Payments and Social Inspection (ANPIS) has dealt with a huge number of claims for technical unemployment benefits in the context of the current crisis. The agency used RPA technology to simplify processes and verify the accuracy of applications submitted. With RPA technology, the handling time for each application has been reduced from an average of 15 minutes to less than 1 minute. Similar RPA use cases can be seen at the European Medicines Agency and Mater Hospital in Ireland.

EU priorities for digital economic recovery

During the webinar, Mr. Khalil Rouhana (Deputy Director General of DG Connect, European Commission) noted that digital transformation was one of the two main priorities of EU policy, even before the pandemic. In his opinion, digital transformation is an opportunity for the European Union to modernize its economy and provide digital solutions to meet critical societal challenges. It is also an opportunity to shape the world of tomorrow in line with EU values, democratic processes and economic interests.

Moreover, Rouhana explained that significant efforts are needed to automate back office tasks to improve efficiency and service delivery for public sector organisations. These investments can focus on data, artificial intelligence or other digital technologies, putting the EU’s public sector at the forefront of adopting the latest digital technologies. Furthermore, the European Commission has published examples to help guide member states in designing components of their reforms and investments, including the public sector component known as Future Fit Public Governance.

Dragoș Pîslaru, co-rapporteur for the RRF, added that the 20% threshold is the minimum and encouraged Member States to cross the 20% threshold to better reflect the priority of digital transformation. For example, according to H.E. Ambassador Pedro Lorte (Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Representative of Portugal to the European Union), Portugal will allocate 31% of funds under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan to support the following priorities:

digital education

digital institutions

digital public administration

The role of RFR member states

In April 2021, member states will have to submit their National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) to the European Commission for review and proposal for approval by the Council. Although the European Commission has set out high-level principles and common guidelines, countries have scope to adapt their national nuclear resource programs according to their needs and priorities. Each country uses a different approach, with some governments collecting inputs from their regions, while others have their own task force dealing with the issue. However, we can note that national priorities are more or less similar, with a particular interest in infrastructure, climate, digital transformation and education. The main challenge for driving digital transformation at the EU level remains the changing digital levels of member states (see Digital Economy and Society Index). While some EU countries are very advanced, others are struggling in their digital journey.

How can RPA help the EU public sector?

With RPA, member states can advance their modernization agenda, reduce bureaucracy, increase productivity, and make public services faster and more efficient. The February 12, 2019 European Parliament Resolution on a Comprehensive European Industrial Policy on Artificial Intelligence and Robots specifically recognized the impact of RPA technology on improving public sector operations and interoperability with other countries.

Tags: No tags

Comments are closed.