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Invest Sofia Sharing Its Experience in the Digital Cities Challenge Project in Vienna

Sofia Investment Agency attended the European Cities Conference for Digitalisation organised by Vienna Municipality on 18th and 19th June. At the invitation of Vienna Municipality and together with other European еxperts,  representatives of civil society and business our team took part in a discussion about what European city councils will look like in 2030.


Our Chief Executive, Mr. Vladimir Danailov presented the challenges, the experience gained and the results so far from Sofia’s participation in the European Commission’s Digital Cities Challenge Program. He also took part in a panel discussion on the topic E-government and European Municipalities.


The focus of the two-day conference was the issues arising from the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in urban services, eGovernment opportunities for city services, open data, and how digitalization could be used for society and citizens. 


On the first day of the conference, AI was examined as a determining factor for the future of city administrations and the tension between humans and technical innovations, social criteria, and democratic processes. Vienna presented two municipal initiatives – the Vienna Manifesto on Digital Humanism and the program “Wien gibt Raum” (“Vienna provides space”) – a digital “One-Stop-Shop” that makes proceedings for the use of public space easier and faster for both citizens and enterprises. 


The conference participants agreed that society must retain ultimate control over the development of AI and that human-centric rules for the data collection are needed. Europe could take on a pioneering role in this regard by its data protection basic regulation (DSGVO), for example in comparison with China or the USA.


The Digitalisation conference in Vienna was part of the annual series of events – the European conferences of cities (ECC), that are organised by Eurocomm PR on behalf of the city of Vienna. For the events, Vienna welcomes experts from the urban institutions from Central and Southeastern Europe. Our team is honored to have been invited to participate in the discussion on current issues of municipal administration and services of general interest.