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E-Government at Supranational Level in the European Union

E-Government at Supranational Level in the European Union
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Author(s): Francesco Amoretti (University of Salerno, Italy)
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 9
Source title: Electronic Government: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko (University of Tampere, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-947-2.ch079


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The term “e-government” became part of the political vocabulary toward the end of the 1990s. Previously, with the onset of new technologies, it found its place in the wider “semantic container,” the information society. To respond to the United States and Japan’s economic challenge, the European Commission drew up a “White Paper on Growth, Competitiveness, and Employment: Challenges and Ways Forward to the 21st Century” (the so-called Delors’ White Paper). The construction of the IS is considered one of the five fundamental priorities of the Union to create a “common information area” based on ICTs and telematic infrastructure. E-government was the key element of significant community programmes (i.e., IDA [Interchange of Data between Administrations] and TEN-TELECOM [from 2002 renamed eTen]). A decisive step toward the development of EU policies for e-government came with the approval, in June 2000, of the Action Plan “eEurope 2002: An Information Society for All.” Guidelines were fixed for greater use of the Internet, and the initiative “Government online: electronic access to public services, [which] aims to ensure that citizens have easy access to essential public data, [...] [and, in order to improve] efficiency in the public sector, will require a re-thinking of internal organisation and of electronic exchanges between institutions” (Council of the European Union & Commission of the European Communities, 2000, p. 22). A few months previously, based on numerous EC documents, the Council of Europe of Lisbon indicated an ambitious objective for the European Union: “to become the most competitive and dynamic economy based on knowledge in the world, capable of achieving sustainable economic growth, creating new and better jobs and more social cohesion.” The so-called “Lisbon strategy” to permit Europe to recover the delay accumulated compared to the U.S., was intended to guide community policies up to 2010. It is in this context, interwoven with different and often conflicting pressures (economic competition and social cohesion, market logics, and the language of rights) that action plans are formulated and policies for e-government implemented in Europe.

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