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The eEurope 2005 action plan succeeds the 2002 action plan which mainly focused on Internet connectivity in Europe. The new action plan, which was approved by the Seville European Council in June 2002, is aimed at translating this connectivity into increased economic productivity and improved quality and accessibility of services for all European citizens based on a secure broadband infrastructure available to the largest possible number of people.
Communication of 28 May 2002 from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – The eEurope 2005 action plan: an information society for everyone [COM(2002) 263 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
The general objective of the eEurope 2005 action plan is to stimulate the development of services, applications and contents while speeding up the deployment of secure broadband Internet access. Broadband will ensure high-speed and continuous access to the Internet. There is also the general aim of providing access for everyone in order to combat social exclusion, whether it is due to particular needs, a disability, age or illness.
The main objectives to be achieved by 2005 in the framework of eEurope 2005 are:
eEurope 2005 follows the same approach as eEurope 2002, which is to define clear objectives and to benchmark progress as it is made. It also aims to speed up the adoption of new legislative instruments and to redirect programmes towards the priorities identified.
MODERN ONLINE PUBLIC SERVICES
eEurope 2005 proposes the following activities for the introduction of modern online public services:
The action plan encourages further use of electronic means of teaching, as with the e-learning initiative. In this framework, eEurope 2005 proposes a series of targeted measures, including:
The action plan emphasises that digital technologies offer substantial benefits for health management. They offer the potential not only to reduce administrative costs, but also to deliver health care services at a distance and to provide medical information and preventative services. In this field, the eEurope 2005 action plan provides for:
A DYNAMIC e-BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
e-business comprises both e-commerce (buying and selling online) and business restructuring processes. In this field, the activities envisaged include:
A SECURE INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE
The gradual introduction of a secure information infrastructure is one of the main objectives of the eEurope 2005 action plan. Measures have already been adopted in this field at European Union level: a proposal from the Commission in June 2001 on network security, combating cyber crime in the framework of the eEurope 2002 action plan, a Directive on the protection of personal data in the telecommunications sector, and activities under the research framework programme. In the field of security, the new action plan proposes the following activities:
WIDE AVAILABILITY OF BROADBAND ACCESS
The eEurope 2005 action plan calls for the stimulation of innovation and increased use of and investment in broadband communications. To achieve this, the action plan focuses on the following activities:
The action plan also provides for measures for the analysis, identification and dissemination of good practices, in particular through conferences and support networks. In the framework of the benchmarking exercise launched by eEurope 2002, it is planned that a list of indicators and a renewed methodology will be put in place at European Union level by the end of 2002.
REVIEW OF eEUROPE 2005
Communication from the Commission of 21 August 2009 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Final Evaluation of the eEurope 2005 Action Plan and of the multiannual programme (2003-2006) for the monitoring of eEurope 2005 Action Plan, dissemination of good practices and the improvement of network and information security (Modinis) [COM(2009) 432 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This Communication reports on the final evaluation of the eEurope 2005 Action Plan and the Modinis Programme.
With regard to the eEurope 2005 Action Plan, the evaluators found the strategy to be useful and relevant. In fact, the Programme had enabled a dialogue between countries with very different cultures and references to be set up and maintained. Weaknesses were noted concerning the stakeholders’ group, which did not appear to fulfil its advisory role in a satisfactory manner.
The Modinis Programme also received a positive assessment in that it added value to Member States’ activities. However, a lack of transparency was found in the relationship between the Modinis Management Committee and the eEurope Advisory Group.
The weaknesses identified did not, however, affect the implementation of the Programme. They have been taken into account under the framework of the i2010 Initiative and one of its main funding instruments (ICT-PSP).
Commission communication of 18 February 2004 "eEurope 2005 mid-term review" [COM(2004) 108 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The report highlights the encouraging results produced by the action plan in many fields, particularly on broadband connections and e-government. The proportion of basic government services fully available online grew from 17% to 43% between October 2001 and October 2003. In addition, the number of broadband connections in the EU almost doubled between 2002 and 2003.
The report gives details of the progress made in seven fields and pinpoints the areas where further efforts are needed:
The report will provide the starting-point for discussion with the Member States and stakeholders to decide the adjustments needed to eEurope 2005 by the summer of 2004.
Communication from the Commission of 21 November 2002 on eEurope 2005: Benchmarking indicators [COM(2002) 772 final − Not published in the Official Journal].
To monitor progress with the action plan, the Communication introduces the various indicators proposed by the Commission for the benchmarking of eEurope 2005. These indicators relate to citizens' access to and use of the Internet, enterprises' access to and use of ICT, Internet access costs, e-government, e-learning, e-health, buying and selling online, e-business readiness, Internet users' experience and usage regarding ICT-security, and broadband penetration.
Council Resolution of 18 February 2003 on the implementation of the eEurope 2005 action plan [Official Journal C 48 of 28.02.2003].
Essentially, the Council calls upon the parties concerned, especially the Member States and the Commission, to do their utmost to achieve the objectives of eEurope 2005 by the end of 2005. An annex to the Resolution contains a list of benchmarking indicators for assessing progress in achieving those objectives.
Last updated: 01.02.2010