On Wednesday 26 April, EIF & Carlos Zorrinho MEP and members debated on #eGovernment. Despite the huge advances in technology in recent decades, the reality is that many public administrations have not evolved so much towards e-Government.
In his opening remarks MEP Carlos Zorrinho reminded the audience that we live in a time of uncertainty and lack of objectives, and perhaps also lack of purpose. e-Government is a great opportunity for administrations to provide better services to citizens and bring institutions and government closer to society, reconnect European citizens with the European project.
Christophe Merer, VP MasterCard Europe, pointed out that more than a 50% and a lot more than 50% of payments managed by public entities in many countries are still in cash and cheques. He considers that administrations should move to electronic payments, since in his view less cash will translate into less fraud, less shadow economy, thus higher tax revenue.
Siim Sikkut representative of the Estonian Government, highlighted that the aim of e-government is to engage citizens. He believes that democracy needs an evolution towards continuous democracy, not direct democracy where citizens need to decide on everything, but direct representative democracy where officials have the tools for constant and free communications with the electorate.
Marlene Marques, representative of the municipality of Águeda, shared the experience of transitioning to an electronic administration. Although the main challenge among the population has been lack of ICT skills, services have been improved by trimming unnecessary processes.
In this #EIFAsks video, MEP Carlos Zorrinho, the Estonian Government CIO, representatives from the European Commission and local governments and other stakeholders share their views on how European governments can accelerate the digital transformation of public services in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness.