Technical Report EUR21376EN, eGovernment in the EU in the next decade: the vision and key challenges



eGovernment has become an explicit component of public sector reform, as an instrument to increase efficiency, strengthen competitiveness and enhance modernization. In this context, the present paradigm on the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in eGovernment focuses on greater quality and efficiency in public services. This can be achieved mainly by delivering existing services through cheaper ICT-based distribution channels or by complementing existing services with added e-features.

However, a number of observations and emerging trends in Europe suggest this strategy should be reviewed, especially when taking a European and prospective approach. For example, the EU will, over the next decade, undergo a number of social and economic transitions (such as increasing cultural and religious diversity, ageing of the population and changing living, working and consumption patterns) which will require new services as well as innovative ways of delivering existing ones. Technological advances in the miniaturisation and portability of ICTs suggest that, in the future, eGovernment will form part of an Ambient Intelligence (AmI) environment which will also raise new issues to be addressed (such as surveillance, identity management, and the distinction between public and private spheres). Finally, the potential of eGovernment as a tool to strengthen democracy will need more attention.

This report summarizes the results of a workshop held at IPTS on 4-5 March 2004. It aimedto:

  • (a) develop a balanced vision of what eGovernment in the EU would look like in 2010 and,
  • (b) define the key challenges to realising this vision.