Online Government now a reality almost everywhere in the EU, says Commission survey
Info zo zahraničia | www.europa.eu.int
Over 90% of public service providers now have an on-line presence, and 40% of basic public services1 are fully interactive, says the European Commission’s fifth annual survey of online government services in Europe. Availability and interactivity measures show that EU’s new Member States are now where the EU 15 ones were just two years ago. The challenge now is to ensure that online government services are used as widely and extensively as possible, so as to deliver the maximum possible efficiency gains for business and citizens (see IP/05/41).
“This study points to impressive progress in developing and delivering public services on line across the EU. The service delivery gap between new Member States and the pre-enlargement EU 15 is lower than many expected and could close very quickly” commented Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. “E-Government services can make administrative formalities easier and more pleasant for everyone. Encouraging business and citizens to use them as widely and intensively as possible will boost efficiency and hence productivity and competitiveness throughout the economy”.
The survey, done for the European Commission by consultants Capgemini, examined 14,000 web sites in 28 countries, the 25 EU Member States plus Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. Sweden is the most advanced country for online public services; Austria is a close second. The method used defined an index of sophistication of services ranging from simple online information to fully interactive services including online payments and, where appropriate, online service delivery. This index increased at each measurement and has now reached 65%.
The ten new EU Member States still score largely in the lower half of the ranking. However, their development of e-Government services is now at the level of EU15 two years ago, so they are progressing fast. Estonia is already situated in the upper part of the ranking.
The study has been carried out since 2001 in the former 15 EU Member States and Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. Countries with the biggest advance in the past year are Iceland (+20%), Germany (+15%, Italy (+13%), the UK (+13%) and Belgium (+9%).
The study suggests that growth in online sophistication (such as full interactivity of services) will level off in the coming years. Further progress will require greater connection between civil services’ front and back offices, increased collaboration and cultural and process change.
Improved delivery of public services forms a key element of the wider economic strategy to modernise the EU economy. The new Lisbon strategy will aim to encourage a clear, stable and competitive environment for electronic communications and digital services; increase research and innovation in information and communication technology, and promote an Information Society dedicated to inclusion and quality of life.
The Study can be found at: