Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Sweden presses for eEurope amendments

Sweden's government has welcomed the eEurope initiative proposed by the special European council in Lisbon last month, but claims that it does not go far enough.

While recognising that the initiative is 'in line with Swedish priorities,' a statement from the Swedish governmen...
Sweden's government has welcomed the eEurope initiative proposed by the special European council in Lisbon last month, but claims that it does not go far enough.

While recognising that the initiative is 'in line with Swedish priorities,' a statement from the Swedish government on 11 April claimed that its targets needed to be more clearly defined. 'The unclear definitions also makes it difficult to conclude if and when the targets have been reached,' reads the statement.

In response to the initiative as it now stands, the Swedish government has made a number of suggestions which it feels will improve it. Firstly, it claims that as the statistics are so important to the process, a reliable source of information technology statistics should be charged with this responsibility. Its preferred candidate is EUROSTAT. Secondly, it feels that the views of the mobile telecommunications sector should be taken into account when formulating an Action Plan. Thirdly, it feels that eEurope does not, in its current form, address promotion of gender equality, cultural diversity or the IT needs of elderly citizens, and that this should be written into the Action Plan. The Swedish government would also like to see a discussion of the use of IT to promote regional development, levelling out geographical differences in Europe.

The statement makes clear that the most important result is to foster trust in the new technologies, which the Swedish government has been concentrating on in its national effort.

The comments could carry some weight, as Scandinavian countries are seen as being at the vanguard of the information society due to their high percentage of Internet-connected schools, companies and individuals. Indeed, at the same Lisbon meeting where the Swedish government released its statement, Viviane Reding, the Commissioner for education and culture, had been using Scandinavian countries as a role model in her speech on eLearning.
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