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IP/01/1456

Brussels, 19 October 2001

EU promotes eGovernment at Conference presenting interactive applications that work in practice

60 on-line administration services have been selected by a team of independent experts for the quality of their interactivity with their users. These services, chosen from 282 proposals from various countries, will be awarded the "eGovernment" label. They will be presented at the Conference on eGovernment: From Policy to Practice jointly organised by the European Commission and the Belgian Presidency on 29 and 30 November 2001 in Brussels. 45 of them will form part of an on-the-spot exhibition. Erkki Liikanen, the European Commissioner responsible for Enterprise and Information Society, Luc Van den Bossche and Rik Daems, the Belgian Ministers responsible for Public Administration and Telecommunications respectively, will participate in this event, alongside numerous Ministers from the countries involved. The EU Member States, the EFTA countries and the accession candidate countries have competed for this prize for excellence in the field of technology placed at the service of administration users and customers at local, regional or national level.

The aim of the European Commission and the Belgian Presidency is to demonstrate the best current practices and their practical advantages in order to encourage their development as an important component of the eEurope Action Plan approved by the EU Member States in June 2000.

What do the various on-line administrative services of the regional government in Bremen, the electronic network of the Italian Ministry for Economic Affairs and Finance and the health information network of the regions of southern Ireland have in common?

The answer is that they are some of the 60 on-line administration services selected by independent experts from 282 proposals from numerous countries as diverse as the EU Member States, the accession candidate countries, Brazil, Canada and the United States. These administrations responded to a call for expression of interest launched in June by the European Commission and the Belgian Presidency to identify current practices offering the best interactivity with administration users, whether companies or ordinary citizens.

"Transparent and interactive administrations bring citizens closer to government. The time has come to move on from ideas to practice. Once we have genuine interactivity, a major reform of public services will become possible. Government will become more efficient. Old and expensive ways of delivering services will be replaced by more carefully designed and targeted services offering major cost savings and increased efficiency" according to Erkki Liikanen, the European Commissioner responsible for Enterprise and Information Society.

This interactivity with administrations is referred to as "eGovernment", and is designed to enable indviduals or companies which need to contact a particular administration to do so electronically following simplified procedures. Various aspects of administrative services are concerned, such as taxation, health, and any other area in which the administration can improve its electronic organisation capacity.

To select the best examples among the 282 applications submitted, the independent experts used the following criteria:

  • interactivity level: quality percieved by the users and speed of response by administrations;

  • accessibility and availability of the electronic service;

  • benefits of the service (time, cost, personnel management) from the point of view of users and the administration;

  • internal reorganisation process set in motion by the administration to offer an efficient service;

  • impact of this electronic service (number of users, awareness of the service in question...);

  • transferability of this service (data security, decentralisation of databases...);

  • operational aspects of implementing this service;

  • assessment of experience and development potential from the point of view of the administrations.

These pilot services, which are now in operation, will be discussed and commented upon in the exchanges of views between the various high-level participants at the eGovernment Conference. 45 of them will form part of an on-the-spot exhibition.

This event is part of the joint efforts of the European Commission and the Belgian Presidency to speed up the development of on-line administrative services in Europe. The aim is focus attention on the best current applications and the practical advantages that individuals and companies can derive from this modernisation of administration, at whatever level. The organisers' stated aim is to encourage the general development of these pratices as part of the eEurope Action Plan approved by the Member States in June 2000.

For more information about the Conference, please consult the following website:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/eeurope/egovconf/index_en.htm

For more information about the eEurope Action Plan, please consult the following website:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/eeurope/index_en.htm


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