The Action Plan sets out concrete actions and aims to remove existing digital barriers to the DSM and to prevent further fragmentation arising in the context of the modernisation of public administrations putting transparency and visibility in the center together with data protection and cyber security and aims to be the instrument to join up efforts.
While Member States pursue their own strategies and activities, this Action Plan sets out a number of principles that forthcoming initiatives should observe in order to deliver the significant benefits that eGovernment can bring to businesses, citizens and public administrations themselves.
Besides the actions and initiatives proposed in the document further initiatives can be proposed by either the Commission or other stakeholders, like Member States.
Several points of the Council Conclusions on eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020: accelerating the digital transformation of government adopted on 20 September 2016 are in line with the CoR opinion:
"- the digital transformation of governments is essential to address current economic and societal challenges, while facing budgetary constraints, as stated in the consecutive Annual Growth Surveys;" - Point 3. of the CoR opinion
"- the objectives of eGovernment are, among others, to empower citizens and businesses, to increase mobility in the Single Market and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector, which all contribute to the fulfilment of the growth potential of the digital economy and a socially inclusive Europe;
-the facilitation of cross-border digital public services further reduces the administrative burden by making secure interactions of the citizens and businesses with public administrations in other Member States faster, more efficient, convenient and transparent, thereby contributing to the success of the internal market;" - Point 4.
"- it is important that eGovernment and electronic services are designed in an open and interactive manner in order to ensure maximum benefits for citizens and businesses." - Point 21.
"1. d) The dynamic and open nature of the Action Plan, recognising the need to adapt to the rapidly changing technological environment and allowing stakeholders, including public administrations at all levels, to suggest adjustments to the Plan." - Point 5.
"2. d) Continue to improve governance, network and information security to protect personal data3, the privacy of citizens, business secrecy and sensitive information handled by public administrations against misuse and cyber security threats;" - Point 24.
"2. h) Open up government data, where legally possible, as requested by businesses and citizens to deliver new added-value products and services;" - Point 50.
"3. e) Set a positive example to the Member States and other EU institutions by its own digital transformation, which should ensure adherence to the principles enshrined in the eGovernment Action Plan in the Commission’s interactions with its stakeholders;" - Point 54.
DG CNECT of the European Commission nominated the rapporteur as observer to the eGovernment Action Plan Steering Board according to point 6. of the opinion.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- recommends that those local and regional authorities that are important to the success of the planned measures should be involved not only in the implementation, but also in the development of the planned national measures and tools highlighted in the action plan;
- suggests that the European Committee of the Regions should be included in the e-Government Action Plan Steering Board in order to ensure that the discussions reflect the local and regional dimension, given that a significant proportion of welfare services are provided by local and regional operators;
- welcomes the fact that the action plan's dynamic and flexible design allows for additional measures that can take advantage of local and regional authorities' knowledge of providing digital public services in areas of importance to society, such as education, care and healthcare, industry, infrastructure, etc.;
- recognises that transparent administrations that provide data and services openly and securely are important in increasing transparency and efficiency, but at the same time points out that certain types of information handled by public institutions need a high level of protection;
- endorses the principle that digital should be the default method used by public administrations for delivering services, and therefore stresses that conscious, long-term, structured efforts must be made to increase digital inclusion so that more people can access the infrastructure and skills they need to enjoy the opportunities offered by digitalisation;
- agrees with the principle that public administrations should share information and data between themselves and with citizens and businesses openly and inclusively. At the same time, the Committee stresses that it is important for all organisations to be in a position to determine which types of information should be publicly available and which should be protected;
- supports the principle that public administrations' e-government services should be cross-border by default, and stresses that local and regional authorities, many of them in border regions, can play a crucial role in identifying and developing cross-border services that are relevant, efficient and seamless;