In recent years, digital transformation has become a priority for organizations worldwide, and parliaments are no exception. The Hellenic Parliament in Athens, Greece, has been actively pursuing its digital transformation, with a focus on improving efficiency, accessibility, and security.
In 2018, the Greek Parliament developed a digital strategy that addressed the need for digital transformation. Unfortunately, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 disrupted plans for implementation, forcing the parliament to shift into crisis management mode. As employees and members of parliament (MPs) began working from home, the need for secure remote access and virtual collaboration tools became paramount.
The Greek Parliament quickly invested in upgrading its digital infrastructure, including virtual private networks (VPNs) and teleconferencing equipment. It also introduced new tools to support remote work, such as speech-to-text software to help employees transcribe parliamentary proceedings more efficiently.
As the parliament’s reliance on digital systems increased, so too did the need for robust cybersecurity measures. To counter cyber attacks, the Greek Parliament implemented several advancements to bolster its systemic safety and cybersecurity capabilities.
One of the innovative features introduced was the electronic communication system for parliamentary questions. Previously, questions from MPs were sent physically to ministries, and the responses were returned to the parliament in the same manner. Now, this communication happens electronically, reducing the likelihood of errors and ensuring greater data security.
Another significant development was the completion of a European project aimed at digitizing and streamlining the law-making process. By utilizing established standards and data structures, the Greek Parliament has improved the openness and accessibility of legislative information.
Looking to the future, the Greek Parliament has several ambitious projects in the pipeline. These include exploring the potential of artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and recommender systems to improve the parliamentary portal and help users find relevant information more efficiently. For example, by tracking users’ browsing history, the system could suggest related parliamentary questions or events.
Collaboration and information-sharing among parliaments are vital to ensure that limited resources are used effectively. International organizations such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) play a critical role in fostering cooperation and innovation. By working together and sharing experiences, parliaments worldwide can become stronger and more successful in achieving their objectives.
In conclusion, the digital transformation of the Greek Parliament has seen significant progress, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. By investing in digital infrastructure, introducing innovative tools, and prioritizing cybersecurity, the Greek Parliament has demonstrated its commitment to adapting and evolving in the digital age. With continued collaboration and innovation, the future of digital transformation in the Greek Parliament and parliaments worldwide holds great promise.
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