The 8th edition of the European Public Sector Award takes place in exceptional circumstances. While COVID-19 provides for exceptional circumstances, it is nevertheless important to remember that societies are faced with continuing challenges which will outlast the current crisis. To address climate change, the excessive use of natural resources, the loss of biodiversity, social justice, equality and equal opportunities in the digital age, to name but a few, are continuing challenges for policy makers in the EU and in the Member States at all levels of government. These challenges are reflected in the current priorities of the EU, in particular, the European Green Deal and A Europe Fit for the Digital Age.
In this context, EPSA 2021 has introduced three award categories linked to key initiatives of the European Commission: green, digital and innovative public administration. For EPSA 2021, a total of 126 applications were received from public administrations across 23 different European countries and one EU agency.
The applications allow a cross-sectional view on current challenges and how administrations responded to these practical solutions. In terms of award categories, 19 projects were submitted in the Green category, 54 projects in Digital, and 60 in the category of innovative public administration.
The 2021 edition received applications in a variety of areas, in particular, public administration modernisation and reform, information society and digitalisation, education, health, sustainability, public order and safety as well as justice reform and human rights. The countries with the highest number of applications are Austria, Spain, Greece, Slovenia and Italy.
In addition to the winners in three categories, 30 projects have been awarded good practice certificates, 7 for the green category, 12 for digital and 11 for innovation. In line with the theme of EPSA 2021, the received applications show a high degree of commitment by public administration to the needs of citizens, with a number of projects being based on citizen participation. These projects highlighted the creativity of public administrations at European and national level in addressing the challenges mentioned above. Hence, on top of award nominations and good practice certificates, 2 projects received a special recognition for responding to challenges stemming directly from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Learn more about all EPSA 2021 projects here.Read the full report here