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[Newsletter Vol.15] Democracy in the Digital Era: The Role of Local Governments 2017-05-18
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Democracy in the Digital Era: The Role of Local Governments
A Special Dialogue between French Minister Placé and Jeju Gov. Won Heeryong on June 2

Jean-Vincent Placé, a Korean-born French state reform minister, will hold a special dialogue with 
Gov. Won Hee-ryong of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province at 9 a.m. on June 2, the last day of 
the upcoming Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity 2017.

Minister Placé will deliver a keynote speech under the theme, “Democracy in the Digital Era: 
Seizing Initiatives for More Open and Agile Government,” at the one-hour special session. The 
speech will be followed by a conversation between him and Gov. Won and finally a question-and-
answer session with the audience.

Many experts predict that the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which has accelerated the widespread 
use of artificial intelligence and big data technologies, will have a big effect on democracy and 
other systems governing society and the state. Minister Placé has been at the forefront of the 
French drive to enhance local autonomy, reform the public sector and streamline state 
administration. He plans to talk about what kind of changes democracy is facing in the digital era 
and about how central and local governments should respond to them. 

In the session, they are expected to exchange views on the prospects of digital government and 
democracy based on simplified administration for efficiency, while evaluating government reform 
in South Korea, often hailed as a world leader in public sector innovation. They will also discuss the 
role of local governments in a rapidly changing world as well as seeking to identify the task of 
innovation lying ahead for Jeju Province in its quest for a high level of autonomy.

Ranking tenth in the latest United Nations e-governance survey conducted last year, France is 
aggressively pursuing state reform by establishing a digital-based electronic government with an 
efficient and streamlined administration. A global leader in technology, South Korea is working 
closely with France to create synergy by supporting each other's e-government policies and 
benchmarking each other’s merits.

Minister Placé, who started his political career with membership of the Green Party in 2001, was 
elected to the French Senate in September 2011. He has earned a reputation as a “talented deal-
maker” for his good political sense. The minister has been actively involved in plans to improve 
public transportation and other reform programs at the sub-national level.