The European Commission proposes pumping at least €9 billion into developing digital infrastructure, to boost its goal of developing a single digital market in the region.
Neelie Kroes, vice president of the EC’s Digital Agenda, says the funds will be drawn from a broader Connecting Europe Facility, and will boost efforts to deploy super-fast broadband that is essential to developing interconnected online public services including electronic procurement, identity, health and justice schemes.
“Let us agree on a list of key cross-border services to be made available online by 2015,” she told members of the eGovernment Expert Group attending the opening day of the CeBIT exhibition in Germany. “We also need to make sure that all citizens and businesses can benefit from the work being done through the Large Scale Pilots [of e-government services,”] she added.
Kroes also called for clear benchmarks to assess the progress of e-government pilot schemes, noting that member states must collaborate to “keep pace with the evolution of policies and move on towards innovative approaches to monitoring.”
The Commissioner also outlined plans for a European Cloud Partnership, which aims to harmonize public IT equipment procurement in a bid to cut costs. The scheme will form part of Kroes’ forthcoming EU Cloud Computing strategy that is due to be presented in the summer.