On 29 June 2021, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs decided to launch a digital transformation plan to support its work and make everyday procedures easier for French nationals abroad and all those who use the Ministry’s services. This move falls in line with its efforts to be more environmentally friendly and aims to improve both the service provided to staff and their quality of life at work.
The Ministry’s digital transformation plan, led by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, is part of a governmental approach. The plan was developed in line with the Public Action 2022 programme to redesign the Ministry’s action model for the digital revolution which is reshaping our society.
Just like climate change, the digital transformation is a defining feature of our time. They are both closely tied to our lifestyles and present significant challenges to the new world order.
Jean-Yves Le Drian
This digital transformation plan strengthens and boosts the approach already deployed by the Ministry to modernize its services. The Ministry has already started making some of its services digital so it can pursue its agile diplomacy approach, taking into account its specific features:
- the Travellers’ advice mobile application, launched in 2009;
- digital extracts and copies of civil registration documents, available since March 2021;
- visa requests for international students coming to France, possible online since April 2021;
- online voting for French nationals abroad, since 2012.
This transformation plan fulfils several objectives, including rolling out digital technology to support the Ministry’s sovereign missions and users of its services.
Making digital technology work for the Ministry’s sovereign missions
At a time where we are witnessing significant changes in technology and its uses, as well as in the way we interact with information, this digital transformation plan aims to back up the Ministry’s fundamental missions:
• preserve the Ministry’s digital sovereignty;
• ensure secure trade and data;
• expand France’s influence;
• strengthen crisis management applications and procedures.
The digital transformation plan also reflects the Ministry’s desire to get on board with transforming public policies. The Ministry is working to offer its users quality access to online procedures by rolling out new services and taking advantage of better data processing.
The digital transformation plan must be a long-term initiative that mobilizes the whole Ministry. The plan must include visible improvements for users and measurable improvements for Ministry staff to achieve its goal.
Jean-Yves le Drian wanted to take a socially-responsible approach to the digital transformation, fully taking into account the objectives of feminist diplomacy and integrating staff with disabilities. The aim is to ensure both an improved service and quality of life at work for staff. An environmentally-friendly approach must also be taken, reducing the environmental impact of the Ministry’s digital activities and maximizing the positive impact of global transformation on the Ministry’s overall environmental performance (carbon footprint, reducing consumables, etc.).