Paul Timmers is the Chairman of eGA’s Supervisory Board since 2022. He is visiting research fellow at the University of Oxford, visiting professor at Rijeka University, Senior Advisor to the European Policy Centre and Chief Adviser to the European Institute of Technology and Health. Until 2017, he was director at the European Commission for e‑government, digital health & ageing, smart cities/mobility/energy, cybersecurity and digital privacy. He was interim member of the EC’s impact assessment board and cabinet member of European Commissioner Erkki Liikanen. In 2003, he led the work on the first European e-Government strategy. Paul was manager in a large ICT company and co-founded an ICT start-up. Paul holds a PhD in physics from Nijmegen University, NL (1985); an MBA from Warwick University, UK (1998); an EU fellowship at UNC Chapel Hill (2009); with executive cybersecurity education at Harvard, USA (2014).
Digital sovereignty or tech sovereignty was already high up on the agenda of government leaders. That is even more so the case in the lights of the acute threats to sovereignty of the war in Ukraine. Digital sovereignty is rapidly becoming an important theme for public administrations in their e-governance. They need to contribute to safeguards for sovereignty, whether national or EU, and do so in a sensible and responsible way. They need to consider their choices of foreign and domestic cloud providers. They need clarity on control of critical digital infrastructures and key services such as e-identification. They want to carefully consider AI-based service delivery so that trust and respect continues to be the basis of relationships between citizens, communities, and government. The keynote speech will introduce the need for digital sovereignty as well as the challenges and pitfalls of digital sovereignty for e-governance. The high-level panel will bring together perspectives, from the big picture of how geopolitics affects governments in their digital policies to the practical choices that public administrations need to make for sovereignty-respecting e-government services, and to the values and vulnerabilities of the relationship of citizen and government, where personal sovereignty meets state sovereignty.