Mathieu Vidal: “Digital technology must be a lever for improving services to the public”

Villes Internet brings together more than 9,000 public service actors for the development of citizen Internet and urban digital in the territories. Mathieu Vidal, President of the association, takes stock of the digital transition of communities.

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What are the objectives of the Villes Internet association?

Villes Internet carries a conviction: digital technology must be a lever for improving services to the public. We support the communities in this transformation, without however losing sight of the risks associated with digital technology.

The essential mission of Villes Internet consists in creating a network of actors pooling resources (our collaborative platform Atlaas displays 15,000 actions). Some dynamic local authorities are honored during the annual ceremony of the national “Towns, Villages and Internet Territories” label.

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Finally, we provide vigilance on major current issues, such as data sovereignty or digital sobriety.

Where are local authorities in their digital transition?

Our 23 years of existence give us a keen eye on the evolution of local authorities in this area. The 2020 municipal elections saw an increase in the number of elected officials with a digital delegation, proof of an awareness that we welcome.

Despite it, the health crisis has been an accelerator of initiatives imagined by local authorities who are now making responsible digital technology a constituent element of their public policies. For 2 years, we have created a green at sign in order to promote these actions which spread the territory.

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However, there is still a long way to go: the municipalities need to be supported by the State to strengthen the training of elected officials and agents, to support the dematerialization while coupling it with a human counter, providing the territories with effective tools to fight against cyberattacksetc.

Do small communities have the necessary means to carry out a digital public policy?

The 4th edition of the National Congress of Elected Digital Officials, on October 6, raised the expectations of elected officials, articulated around four structuring questions and giving rise to the adoption of a motion and 29 proposals.

Among them is the legitimate questioning of elected officials from small communities who appeal to common sense. Local authorities are not equal: they do not all have the same HR resources and engineering capacities. The pooling of resources at the intermunicipal level is one of the possible options in order to model and design a solid digital public service.

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Mathieu Vidal: “Digital technology must be a lever for improving services to the public”

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