Dutch Digitalisation Strategy

The effects of digitalisation are felt by everyone, but it’s also a process to which everyone can contribute. Every sector is having to deal with digitalisation, including: education, healthcare, industry, agriculture, trade and government. Across all sectors, the digitalisation process raises similar questions. The solutions they require are often the same as well: well-trained IT professionals, secure, high-speed internet access, legislation that is ready for the digital age, privacy protection, and knowledge from businesses and the scientific community to drive innovation.

Digital frontrunner in Europe

In June 2018 the State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Minister of Justice and Security, and the State Secretary of the Interior and Kingdom Relations presented the Dutch Digitalisation Strategy 2018-2021. By launching this strategy, the government aims to maintain the Netherlands’ position in Europe’s digital vanguard.

Three ambitions of the Dutch Digitalisation Strategy

Making use of the opportunities that digitalisation offers and addressing the risks requires cooperation between the business community, public authorities, knowledge institutions and civil society organisations. The Dutch Digitalisation Strategy is a government-wide approach. It formulates three ambitions:

1. Be in the vanguard and grasp opportunities 

The Netherlands aims to become a digital frontrunner in Europe – a testbed for companies from all over the world, where they can develop and test new applications and where successful innovations are then rolled out on a large scale. This will contribute to a society with less traffic congestion and better accessibility; a society that uses energy more efficiently, produces food more safely and sustainably, and makes it possible for people to live independently for longer, in better health. It will also strengthen the Netherlands’ earning capacity.

2. Everyone joins in and we work together

When things change rapidly, as in the digital transformation, it is important to get – and keep – everyone on board. That applies to people on the labour market and to society as a whole. This means that everyone needs to learn the basics at an early age, and that people need to keep their skills up-to-date throughout their lives in response to new types of jobs and changing tasks. Vulnerable groups will need support in this. The government aims to ensure that everyone can take part and enjoy the benefits.

3. Confidence in the digital future 

The digital transformation is changing the Dutch economy and society, but our common values remain the same. The government sees opportunities here, but also understands the concerns that people have about digitalisation. It goes without saying that the government will continue to preserve our values and fundamental rights in the digital age, like safety, security, the rights to privacy and self-determination, solidarity, fair competition, good governance and access to public administration. Confidence is the keystone of the digital transformation: confidence that our data will be safe and that digital technologies will be used with due care.