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Brussels, 1st October 2004

eGovernment beyond 2005: CoBrA recommendations for modern and innovative public administrations by 2010

On 28 September, at a meeting on “eGovernment beyond 2005”, at the CoBrA modern art museum in Amsterdam, leaders and representatives of national eGovernment initiatives from some 30 European countries, chaired by the EU’s Dutch presidency, issued a set of recommendations for modernizing and stimulating innovation in public administrations between now and 2010.

Commissioner Olli Rehn said: “These recommendations are an important contribution to the review of the EU’s “Lisbon” competitiveness strategy and the European Commission’s “eEurope” initiative to ensure that businesses and citizens derive the maximum benefit from progress in information and communication technology. These recommendations emphasize the key contribution that public administrations can make to improving Europe’s competitiveness, growth, innovation and employment rates, as well as social cohesion”.

The CoBrA recommendations can be summarized as follows:

  • modern and innovative administrations are essential to achieve the “Lisbon” goal of making Europe the world’s most competitive knowledge-based economy by 2010,
  • eGovernment is the way forward and a catalyst for innovation, and should now deliver on its promise. Citizens and businesses should be at the very centre of eGovernment,
  • eGovernment is at least as much about people, organisation, and institutions as about technology that enables better public services. The focus is on how public administrations must be transformed to achieve these goals, and
  • Joint European targets should be defined for progress by 2010. Examples could be reducing the administrative burden for citizens and business, society-wide take-up of on line public services, etc.

Europe is well-placed to realise world-class public administrations, that are needed to remain globally competitive, making it an attractive place to live, work and invest.

Furthermore specific recommendations have been issued on policy and implementation co-operation between Member States, and transformation of public administrations and its financing.

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