Brussels, 17 Sep 2003
Strong political leadership is needed to enable full-scale implementation of eGovernment, the EU Commissioner for Enterprise and the Information Society, Erkki Liikanen, has said.
Speaking at the China nation school for administration on 16 September, Mr Liikanen said that the benefits of eGovernment are manifold, describing its implementation as an opportunity not only 'to make governments more relevant to citizens by increasing participation and involvement in decision-making', but to 'help public administrations to become more productive and offer personalised services for all, in an open and transparent way.'
However, some barriers still remain, claimed the Commissioner, noting that the challenges still facing the implementation of electronic public services have to be taken up by politicians: 'The politicians have to keep reminding themselves of the longer-term vision and at the same time insist on delivering shorter-term concrete results.'
In an effort to help bring about a full scale implementation of eGovernment within the EU, Mr Liikanen noted that, for its part, the Commission aims to identify some of the remaining issues to resolve in its forthcoming communication on eGovernment.
Some of these issues include ensuring inclusive and widespread access to the Internet so that public services are accessible for all; safeguarding trust and confidence in online interaction with governments; making electronic public procurement easier; and defining, developing and implementing pan-European services and promoting their use.
'There are further issues, such as interworking of administrations at all levels for one-stop personalised services,' added the Commissioner. 'This will require interoperable technical platforms to be established and government processes that span the boundaries of organisations and the borders of countries. Some of this infrastructure for eGovernment is already in place but much more needs to be done, also in international cooperation.'
Further discussions regarding the international dimension of eGovernment will be tabled during the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva in December.