COM(2004)108, eEurope 2005 Mid-term Review

European Commission


The eEurope Action Plan is part of the strategy set out at the Lisbon European Council to modernise the European economy and to build a knowledge based economy in Europe. The eEurope 2002 Action Plan was adopted in 2000 and by the end of 2002, the majority of its 65 targets had been met. Nearly all business and schools were connected to the Internet; the number of households connected had nearly tripled and Europe had the fastest research network in the world.

However, by the end of 2002, there was little evidence to show that the success in getting Europe on-line had been translated into new jobs and services. Nor were there the increases in productivity observed elsewhere, notably in the USA. Connectivity was there, but use was lagging behind.

Stimulating use and creating new services therefore became the central goal of eEurope 2005, which was endorsed by the Seville European Council. The overall aims are that, by the end of 2005, Europe should have modern online public services (e-government, e-learning, e-health) and a dynamic e-business environment, based on the a widespread availability of broadband access at competitive prices and a secure information infrastructure.

The Member States gave their commitment to implement the Action Plan in the eEurope Resolution of February 2003, which also welcomed the intention of the Commission to hold a mid-term review of the action plan "in advance of the Spring European Council 2004".

This mid-term review Communication provides the Commission's analysis of political and concrete developments, responses by Member States and Candidate Countries to a survey in autumn 2003 and inputs from an online questionnaire and a public hearing held in October 2003. The main outcome of the consultation was to confirm the relevance of eEurope objectives and their adequacy to the challenges of information society in the acceding countries. A consensus was expressed on the need to focus the mid-term review on updating and fine-tuning the initiatives and strengthening the implementation mechanisms. The Communication follows closely the structure of the Action Plan and is supported by a more detailed working paper providing further background on policy developments and benchmarking in each domain.