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ICT and eGovernment: European Action Plan 2011-2015
This Action Plan forms part of the 2020 Digital Agenda and aims at exploiting information and communication technologies (ICT) in order to strengthen the efficiency and dynamism of European governments.
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 15 December 2010 – The European eGovernment Action Plan 2011-2015 - Harnessing ICT to promote smart, sustainable and innovative Government [COM(2010) 743 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This Communication presents the European Commission’s eGovernment Action Plan for the period 2011-2015. It reflects the four priorities defined by the Malmö Ministerial Declaration (5th eGovernment Conference) in 2009.
The overall aim of this Action Plan is to facilitate the transition of current administrations to a new generation of eGovernment services at local, regional, national and European levels. In order to achieve this aim, the Commission defines four types of action to be taken to meet the priorities set out in the Malmö Declaration.
Priority 1: User empowerment
User empowerment aims at increasing the capacity of citizens, businesses and other organisations to be pro-active in society through the use of new technological tools. In order to empower users, the Commission intends to promote actions to:
- develop services designed around users’ needs, and inclusive services: this involves, for example, developing personalised online services;
- introduce collaborative production of services: the Commission wishes to undertake a study of the methods to be implemented to enable users to play an active role in the design and production of eGovernment services. It also intends to prioritise exchange of good practice in this regard;
- re-use public sector information (PSI): the Member States are tasked with determining a common set of PSI re-use indicators;
- improve transparency: the Member States and the Commission plan to enable citizens to have online access to their personal data held by administrations;
- foster the involvement of citizens and businesses in policy-making processes: the Commission intends to develop an electronic service to support ‘citizens initiatives’.
Priority 2: Strengthening the internal market
At present it is difficult to apply for services from one country when in another EU country. In order to strengthen the internal market in this regard, the Commission proposes various initiatives to develop:
- seamless business services: large-scale pilot projects such as “Simple procedures online for cross-border services” (SPOCS) and “Pan-European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL) exist already. Through these initiatives, the Commission intends to put in place a cross-border infrastructure which will enable businesses to sell goods and provide services to public administrations in other countries;
- personal mobility: the Commission wishes to encourage personal mobility by developing services which enable EU citizens to study, work, reside, obtain health care and retire in the EU country of their choice;
- implementation of cross-border services at EU level: this phase requires the development of pilot projects which will enable an assessment to be made regarding which services it would be most appropriate to develop at EU level.
Priority 3: Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Governments and administrations
In order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Governments and administrations, this Action Plan underlines the necessity to promote information and communication technologies (ICT), which would enable:
- organisational processes to be improved: the Commission wants to rationalise administrative processes by transforming the ePractice portal and mainstreaming online public procurement procedures;
- administrative burdens to be reduced: it is essential that public authorities use the personal data already available efficiently, while respecting citizens’ privacy. In order to do this, the Commission proposes to apply the principle of ‘once-only’ registration to certain data and to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the principle;
- green administration to be prioritised: this involves reducing the carbon footprint of administrations in Member States. To this end, the Commission intends to collect best practices in order to develop indicators and evaluation procedures specifically for government.
Priority 4: Creating preconditions for the development of eGovernment
The deployment of e-Government services in Europe requires the implementation of a certain number of conditions including:
- interoperability: this is the ability of systems and machines to exchange, process and correctly interpret information. The Commission intends to implement the interoperability framework of the ISA programme;
- identification and authentication: we should now go beyond simple passwords and develop a more sophisticated approach to identification and authentication, in particular through the STORK project. In addition, the Commission intends to propose a revision of the eSignature Directive to enhance security;
- innovation: it is crucial that first generation eGovernment adapts to developments in the information society in order to increase its efficiency. In this regard, it must in particular make a transition from IPv4 to IPv6 and launch pilot projects to provide more innovative services.