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eEurope 2002

The eEurope initiative was launched in 2000 by the European Commission in order to accelerate Europe’s transition towards a knowledge-based economy, as well as to realize the potential benefits of increased growth, more jobs and better access for citizens to the services of the information age. So far, the initiative has included two conferences: eEurope 2002 and eEurope 2005. This article takes a closer look at the eEurope 2002 conference.

Background Information

The eEurope conference was held by the European Council in Lisbon on March 23-24, 2000. It set the objective for Europe to become “the most competitive and dynamic economy in the world.” In order to do so, Europe needed to rapidly exploit the opportunities of the new economy, particularly, the potential opportunities offered by the internet.

Heads of State and Government requested the European Council and European Commission to put together:

“… a comprehensive eEurope Action Plan… using an open method of co-ordination based on the benchmarking of national initiatives, combined with the Commission’s recent eEurope initiative as well as its Communication Strategies for jobs in the Information Society.”

eEurope Results

The conference found that the 2000 eEurope initiative had been relatively strong in terms of encouraging citizens and businesses online, as well as establishing a framework in which the knowledge-based economy could grow. There were a number of other significant findings:

  • When eEurope was first launched, few European citizens had internet access. By 2002, over 90% of schools and businesses reported that they were online and more than half of Europeans said that they were regular users of the internet. However, marked differences in connectivity existed between Member States.
  • Member States agreed on a legislative framework for electronic communications as well as e-commerce. Telecommunications legislation for the most part strengthened market competition, thus reducing prices and stimulating innovation.
  • The future direction for the eEurope project was identified as increasing effective use of the internet. For instance, leaders needed to encourage more firms to use e-commerce, and schools needed to be more connected, as well as make full use of internet access in class. There were also large gaps in access and use of digital technologies.

Three Key Areas

The eEurope 2002 Action Plan was agreed to by the Member States at the Feira European Council in 2000. It targeted three main areas, with associated objectives, as described below:

  1. Cheaper, faster and secure internet
  • Cheaper and faster internet access
  • Faster internet for researchers and students
  • Secure networks and smart cards
  1. Investing in people and skills
  • European youth into the digital age
  • Working in the knowledge-based economy
  • Participation for all in the knowledge-based economy
  1. Stimulating use of the internet
  • Accelerating e-commerce
  • Government online: electronic access to public services
  • Health online
  • European digital content for global networks
  • Intelligent transport systems

It was agreed that the eEurope targets should be achieved through the following main methods:

  • Accelerate the setting up of an appropriate legal environment
  • Support new infrastructure and services across Europe
  • Applying the open method of coordination and benchmarking

Reflections on eEurope 2002

According to the European Commission,

“eEurope 2002 was very successful in extending Internet connectivity and helped the Member States adopt the existing legal framework for electronic communications and important legislation for e-commerce.”

Summary

This article takes a look at eEurope 2002, which was one of the conferences which make up the eEurope initiative so far. The eEurope initiative set the ambitious goal for Europe to become “the most competitive and dynamic economy in the world.” eEurope 2002 targeted three major areas for moving forward: 1) Cheaper, faster and secure internet; 2) Investing in people and skills; 3) Stimulating use of the internet.

CIPP Exam Preparation

In preparation for the Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe (CIPP/E) exam, a privacy professional should be comfortable with topics related to this post, including:

  • European Commission (I.B.d.)
  • Appropriate technical and organizational measures (II.G.a.)
  • Internet technology and communications (III.D.)
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