Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Information society - 30.11.2005

CEMR represents local and regional eGovernments at the ministerial conference
CEMR demands the strengthening of local and regional eGovernment services
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) contributed to the third Ministerial conference on eGovernment, in Manchester on 24 and 25 November. CEMR was represented by Kari Nenonen, mayor of the city of Oulu in Finland.
In his presentation, Kari Nenonen started by stressing that the mechanisms of delivering eGovernment at the local and regional level should be strengthened. Local and regional authorities have an important role in the development of eGovernment and the realisation of the European information society, a large proportion of eGovernment services being delivered locally. As the level of governance closest to the citizen, Kari Nenonen added, it is in Europe's municipalities, cities and regions that the democratic deficit needs to be tackled first.
However, local and regional actors continue to face a lot of challenges. Kari Nenonen identified different kinds of obstacles like organisational, geographical and linguistic borders for the delivery of online services, the rising cost of data administration and the issues with data protection.
CEMR together with its expert network ELANET has taken a first step towards these challenges this year with the adoption of the Cracow declaration of the Local Agenda i2010 at the 5th EISCO conference. This strategic document for European local administrations aims to ensure that the use of information and communication technologies brings a real practical benefit to all European citizens.
Ministerial conference on the transformation of public services

The conference, entitled 'Transforming Public Services" was co-hosted by the European Commission and the British Presidency of the European Council and brought together politicians, officials and managers from all over Europe responsible for eGovernment.
A key outcome of the conference was the adoption of a ministerial declaration, setting out a new strategic direction for European eGovernment over the next 5 years. UK Cabinet Office Minister Jim Murphy said that by giving people choices and personal services delivered through ICT, we can drive through economic and social advances for all. The next 5 years, it's no longer about simply putting services online, it's about making ICT really work for citizens, whether they live in small, remote villages, or big cities.
Also at the conference, the winners of the European eGovernment awards were announced, honouring the best of the best in European eGovernment. Candidate projects were assessed for innovation, effective management and tangible results across 4 categories, with winners from Poland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Ireland.
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