EU grant allows Denmark to develop method to further digital-ready legislation


The Danish Agency for Digitisation has received a grant of 600,000 EUR from the European Commission to develop a new method in collaboration with the OECD, for finding and prioritizing existing legislation that needs a digital review. The aim is to develop a best practice method in the form of a “guide” that can be used to promote digital-ready legislation.

Weeding out old and outdated rules is an important part of creating a coherent and modern digital public sector

Much of the legislation that underpins the way public authorities carry out their tasks was drafted at a time when there was not the same focus as today on making legislation digitally ready. In some areas the legislation is so complex today that it can be difficult for both citizens and companies to see through which rules apply and difficult for the authorities to administer.

In 2018, a broad political agreement made it mandatory in Denmark to assess whether all new Danish legislation is digital-ready. However, in Denmark alone there are still more than 1,600 laws in force, which were passed before digital-ready legislation became a focus area. To enable authorities to deliver effective digital services and thereby ensure a cohererent and modern public sector it is therefore necessary to review the existing legislation on an ongoing basis. The same is true in many other countries.

If the authorities' work to modernise the rules is to lead to better digital service and task solving, it would therefore be very valuable to have a 'roadmap' that can help to prioritise which laws and rules need to be reviewed first, because this can particularly lead to better digital service and task solving.

The Agency for Digitisation therefore intends to develop such a guide in cooperation with the OECD's Regulatory Policy Unit. This is made possible by a grant of 600,000 EUR from the European Commission. The aim is to develop a best practice method that can be used broadly.

I am pleased that with the assistance of the European Commission we can help ministries and government agencies to modernize old rules and laws to make it easier to do things digitally and increase transparency.

I see the commitment from the European Commission and the cooperation with the OECD as a recognition of the work we in Denmark have done over a number of years to make our legislation digital-ready.

We look forward to getting started and hope that our methodology will not only be of value in Denmark, but can also form the basis for similar efforts in other countries. 

Tanja Franck, Director General, Agency for Digitisation

What is digital-ready legislation?

Read more about the Danish work with digital-ready legislation

About the project

The Danish Agency for Digitisation has applied for and received a grant for a project with a budget of 600.000 € (DKK 4.5 million) from the European Commission's Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support through the so-called "Technical Support Instrument" to implement a project over 18 months with the assistance of the OECD Secretariat's Regulatory Policy Division.

By combining OECD expertise and Danish experience in ensuring that new legislation is digital-ready, the project is expected to lead to the development of a methodology to map the societal potential of revising concrete legal acts within existing legislation. The methodology will thus support ministries in their efforts to ensure that legislation can be administered digitally.

The work will be anchored in the Agency’s Secretariat for digital-ready legislation, which will work with a small number of ministries to develop and test the method during the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023.