eEurope Advisory Group
The Expert Section
Work Group N?3
The next five years in Information Society
? Nous ne coalisons pas les Etats,
nous unissons des peuples ?
2 February 2005 1
Work Group 3 Participants:
Rapporteur: Roberto CARNEIRO
Co-rapporteur: Arie VAN BELLEN
Rapporteurs of the Thematic Clusters (TC):
? TC 1/ “Governance, Citizenship and Cohesion”: Gareth HUGHES, Daniel KAPLAN
and Nicklas LUNDBLAD
? TC 2/ “Growth, Innovation and Sustainable Development”: Eduardo LIBEROS and
Arie VAN BELLEN
? TC 3/ “People, Culture and Diversity”: Jozef CORNU and Michelle SELINGER
Work Group 3 Participants:
BERG Achim PETERKA Jiri BERGAMELLI Serge RENNER Heiko BULC Violeta REUTER André BUTLER John RIORDAN John CASTELLS Manuel RORSTED Kasper CATTANI Rodolfo SABOL Tomas DE MEYER Wim SAMMUT George DRAKE Jeannie SCHWARTZ Christiane GELBORD Boaz SHAPIRO Hanne GRANELLI Andrea SIILASMAA Risto KÄMÄRÄINEN Jouni Jyrki Aleksi SUAREZ Y ALONSO Ramon Carlos
KAPENIEKS Atis THOMMESSEN Christian KRIZINAUSKIENE Loreta TIITS Marek LEURQUIN Christine TRIPI Alberto LI Man-Sze VEREBELY Paul MASSELOS Vassilis WELZEL Carolin MATTES Andy
The Work Group would like to thank the European Commission services for their invaluable
intellectual and logistic support, particularly, IPTS which welcomed Experts in Seville.
2. The Mandate of Work Group 3 and its methodology
3. “The European dream”
4. Looking ahead… thinking collectively
5. A Vision for Europe 2010 and beyond
6. Conclusion: from vision to reality with concrete proposals
Annexes: (1) The outcome of the Seville meeting and the results of the Thematic Clusters; (2)
slides from the presentation made during the eEurope Advisory Group on the 21
2004; and (3) narratives drawn up for the Seville meeting in order to show some concrete
pictures of the future Information Society.
This report synthesises all the contributions expressed during the work done within WG 3, especially
from the SWOT analysis, Delphi, the Thematic Clusters and the Seville workshop in October 2004.
Views expressed represent exclusively the position of the experts of the eEurope Advisory Group
and does not commit the European Commission in any way.
As the main part of its Information Society policy pillar, the European Union has launched
1.two Action Plans (eEurope 2002 and eEurope 2005) in order to play an active role of a
catalyst between Member States. The eEurope Action Plans have given a strong political momentum to achieve detailed short-term targets in order to build an Information
Society in Europe and to catch up with the US. Regarding results, these two Action Plans
were successful. Five years after the launch of the first Action Plan and at mid-term of the
Lisbon strategy, coinciding with the inauguration of a new Commission, the time is ripe for
reflection on challenges and actions for the next five years (to 2010).
During the eEurope period (2000 – 2005), several developments have changed the context of initiatives at EU level. These evolutions point out the extent to which the Information Society
context has evolved. Indeed, in the last five years, a series of major changes have lead to
substantial modifications in the political environment and the dimension of the
Information Society. All of these aspects have to be considered for prospective reflection:
1. Political: new constitutional treaty, enlargement to an EU 25, increasing role of the
local public authorities…
2. Economic: the burst of the Internet bubble, an internal market regulation,
development of public-private partnerships…
3. Technological: nanotechnologies, convergence, mobility, 3G, Ipv6, new
generation of networks and computers, ambient intelligent scenarios…
4. Regulatory: a regulatory framework in electronic communication networks,
directives on e-commerce and on e-signature…
5. Policy: eEurope 2005 Action Plan, Lisbon Agenda, review of the Structural Funds,
FP6, IDA program…
As part of the Lisbon objectives to become “the most competitive knowledge-based economy
by 2010”, knowledge emerges as a central driver of our collective aspiration and a key
engine of our common future. Meeting the Lisbon Strategy poses the challenge of moving from a first generation eEurope to an accomplished political Initiative in the course of the next
five years. In this context, during the first meeting of our Second Section on 16
2004, an open debate gave an opportunity to raise some core issues to be addressed for the
future. The main ideas expressed point to the need of framing the information and technology
challenges in the context of a new set of policy guidelines.
Moreover, the conclusions of the mid-term review of the current Action Plan have provided
other useful inputs from stakeholders for this forward looking exercise. In addition, the
various contributions to the review of the Lisbon Process have given a wider view on ICT
policy in relation to the three pillars of Lisbon: growth and competitiveness, social cohesion,
and sustainability. Other outputs, such as, the Price Waterhouse Coopers study and the IPTS
contribution to FP71, have been also already delivered.
1 Input for FP 7 Consultation process of DG INFSO “Lessons learned and research avenues from FISTE Research”
Putting all these contributions together, a basis for discussion could be drawn up, particularly
in view of orientations indicated in the Conclusions of the Communication on the update of
the eEurope 2005 Action Plan: “The Lisbon Strategy is a strong political commitment to ensure that the European Union becomes the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based
economy by 2010. If the European Union wants to play a leading role in the global
Information Society, it is necessary that all three pillars of the Lisbon Strategy are fully
implemented in ICT policy. These are growth and competitiveness, cohesion, and
sustainability. These provide an orientation for consideration of the next steps beyond 2005,
and beyond the timeframe of the current eEurope Action Plan. New policy guidance such as
safeguarding citizen-user-consumer interests, providing industrial policy tools and increasing
e-inclusion, should be taken into account.”
Therefore, a new mandate was given in May 2004 to the Second Section of the eEurope
Advisory Group, in order to provide input to a strategic reflection on future challenges
post-eEurope. The special context is “re-thinking the European ICT Agenda”, and specifically the next policy programme running beyond 2005. A new work group (n?3) was
set up after the two first ones on the territorial coverage of broadband and e-inclusion.
THE MANDATE OF THE WORK GROUP 3 AND ITS METHODOLOGY
To cover the overall scope of this mandate, the work was organised in two related and
concomitant layers. While the first layer was global and predominantly vision-oriented, the
second layer was designed to be thematic and mainly issues-oriented.
See slide 1 in annex 2
In order to provoke a creative discussion on vision and strategy, the entire Section was invited
to contribute to a joint SWOT2 analysis as the first layer exercise, which was built on the idea of Europe as a global player. The analysis was conducted on the basis of an on-line
interactive discussion till the end of July.
In consequence of the wealth of ideas that were generated and on time availability, the
Section was subsequently invited to participate in a prospective exercise. This was intended
to foster interactivity, cross-fertilisation and convergence of ideas on the future design of a
„post eEurope” with the support of European Commission Services, in particular IPTS (Joint
Research Center), in a meeting that took place in Seville on 7thth and 8 October. In the
meantime, experts had participated in a Delphi exercise with the support of the Fistera project,
managed by IPTS. In Seville, the Second Section confronted its opinion to the results of the
Fistera Delphi project, based on the contribution of about 500 European experts.
The second layer comprised three Thematic Clusters to guide and to deepen the reflection
in areas considered as major trends for the future. The three thematic clusters (TC) were:
? TC 1: Governance, Citizenship and Cohesion
? TC 2: Growth, Innovation and Sustainable Development
? TC 3: People, Culture and Diversity
2 SWOT is the acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Three Discussion Groups were set up to address issues in each broad thematic cluster in order
to provide recommendations to the Member States and the Commission through a series of
? What are the main trends which could already be identified for the future and need to
be taken into account for drawing up a new strategy? Are there any foreseen trend
breaks in the next 5 years?
? What should be the role of technology development as a driving force for these themes?
How do we asses the scope of IST policy for the future in terms of areas to be
reinforced, cancelled or added?
? How could knowledge and learning institutions be (re)shaped to meet the new
challenges ahead of us? What are the features of the Information Society that will have
to be improved or enhanced to allow the emergence of a European-wide knowledge-
? Is there a truly European model for the making of a knowledge and information
society? What aspects have to be emphasised in international co-operation?
? What should be the role of public authorities as policy makers, not only at EU level,
but also at national and local level; and/or co-ordination mechanisms? What will be
the part of regulatory and legal aspects actions?
In a previous stage, each Thematic Cluster identified key insights in seven domains:
challenges, directions, stakeholders, obstacles, early movers, actions and tools. Each
discussion group was co-ordinated by TC Rapporteurs. The meeting in Seville was also an
occasion for the thematic clusters to meet physically. Furthermore, narratives were drawn up
for the Seville meeting in order to concretely illustrate the future Information Society. See the
outcome of the Seville meeting and the results of the Thematic Clusters in Annex 1, and the
narratives in Annex 3.
The results of the SWOT analysis and the Delphi exercise were finalised with the Thematic
Clusters outcomes in mid-October, in order to complete a draft slide presentation. This
presentation was submitted and generally agreed by the Second Section before being
delivered to the Member States during the meeting of the eEurope Advisory Group on the 21
The Second Section conducted its work by using a “soft and societal-driven” approach
complementing the “hard and technology-driven” approach used by the Price Waterhouse
Coopers study presented by the Dutch presidency. The Second Section took this into account
as another major input on the reflection on the Future. See slides 2 and 3 in Annex 2
“THE EUROPEAN DREAM”
The most recent formulation of our European dream that was put forward in the Lisbon 3.Agenda, in 2000, is vibrantly expressed as follows:
“A new strategic goal needs to be defined for the next ten years: to make the
European Union the world's most dynamic and competitive area, based on
innovation and knowledge, able to boost economic growth levels with more and
better jobs and greater social cohesion”.
This dream dwells in our minds, documents and official statements. It fashioned our mandate
and inspired our terms of reference.
The capacity to keep on dreaming and to nurture a common ambition is central to the
realisation of our construction of Europe.
Jeremy Rifkin speaks of this dream in his most recent book. While describing the uniqueness
of this European Dream he underscores some of its key features
“The European Dream emphasizes community relationships over individual
autonomy, cultural diversity over assimilation, quality of life over accumulation of
wealth, sustainable development over unlimited material growth, deep play over
unrelenting toil, universal human rights and the rights of nature over property
rights, and global cooperation over the unilateral exercise of power”.
For Rifkin, the European model, based on truly multicultural societies, a wealth of memory
and identity, and a unique way of dealing with technologies will prevail in the new world
order. In other words, the European way of life offers to the entire planet a powerful response
to the overriding challenges of civilisation and cultural progress.
This recognition is certainly good for our self esteem.
However, we are still lagging behind in innovation, economic and technology growth. A new
thrust is required to make our time come of age. This ambition can be translated as follows:
We have been, we are and we will be a global power in a multi-polar world. It is not
acceptable to be a secondary player.
This leads us to ask how viable is the dream, how can ICT make a difference and what are the
strategic choices facing us in critical areas such as ICT for Knowledge, Education, Learning,
Innovation, and Research & Development? What ICT policies could help trigger this dream
making the EU a real champion and leader in the new global order? Moreover, what will
Europe be selling to the rest of the world in 10 to 15 years time, and how can ICT help in
making Europe and European processes, products and services come closer to market
preferences now and in the future?
3 Rifkin, J. (2004). The European Dream. Cambridge: Policy Press, p. 3
The fact is that from recorded and documented history, Europeans are used to thinking and acting from a global perspective. Ancient Greece perfected philosophical thinking for betterment of the world; Rome legislated, not in confinement to strict borders, but thinking of the entire humanity; the European discoveries were meant to approximate peoples and cultures from all continents; the founding fathers of Enlightenment announced a new Age of Reason and Freedom for the modernisation of all societies.
This outreach is part of a branded European way of thinking, living and learning. It is in the mainstream philosophy of a European predicament.
Our work was organised around this series of key questions.
The task was to help deliver a vision for Europe 2010, and to arrive at proposals to shape a new ICT strategy for the next 5 years. To reach this result, we strongly benefited from all the thoughts expressed during the various phases of collective thoughts which translated in a European-wide concentration of ideas and thoughts.
4. LOOKING AHEAD… THINKING COLLECTIVELY
4.1 The SWOT analysis
The SWOT analysis gave an overall picture of how we see, and consider, Europe‟s position in
global competition, and as a major player in an increasingly complex environment.
Europeans have many strong points to display. However, we must acknowledge the fact that Europe is also prone to weaknesses which we must be aware of. See slide 4 in Annex 2
When looking back in documented history, one finds that Europe has been in the driving seat of the world for a long time: we were among the finest global traders and the founding fathers of democracy; we were masters at doing business, at the cutting-edge of science and technology; we invented the shape of modern learning institutions (including over 800 years of successful universities); we led multicultural contacts for centuries in and outside of Europe; we were pioneers of global mobility.
In recent decades, we have boldly created a union of countries to be reckoned with, starting with 6 nations, then 12, then 15, and now 25 Member States brought together in the name of lasting peace and shared prosperity.
However, alongside this impressive track record of achievements, we must also deal with our weaknesses: fragmented markets, excessive regulations, ineffective state intervention, slow pace of innovation, ageing population and waste of senior experience.
To build a vision of Europe 2010 and beyond, it is essential that we learn to cope with these elements and face them in a constructive manner. One way is to identify other assets that we have which can be used to build our collective future. In this line of thinking, it is fair to underscore that we have integrated ten new member states bringing the total to 25, with a vision to increase this number in the future. Our creative lifestyle, the adoption of the Euro as a common currency, and our world class communication technologies rank high as recognisable strengths.
However, major threats are well and truly recorded in today‟s world, which could undermine
our vision for a sustainable Europe in 2010 and beyond. The most obvious one is terrorism; this is an unknown quantity resulting in an unsafe world for all. Further, our continuous dependency on energy sources, with soaring oil prices, results in mounting environmental challenges.
As long as we are aware of these elements, we may prepare ourselves to seize the opportunities positively: our quality of life, our education, our long standing technology structure, our social infrastructures, the result of which may stimulate public/private investment, and to invite the “ageing” population into the work force, thus eliminating
Europe can move towards global customisation of products and services and demanding cross-cultural markets.
4.2 The DELPHI exercise
As another participatory analysis, Experts contributed to a DELPHI exercise within the
4FISTERA Delphi survey managed by IPTS. This survey aims at analysing the importance of ICT with respect to EU goals, by collecting views from experts across Europe. See slide 5 in
The results of the DELPHI exercise are presented in Annex 1 but some of the main findings
can be summarised as follows:
? The development of Europe has a long way to go: the question of time has to be taken
into account. It takes between 20 and 30 years just to deploy technology.
? We need a long term and well focused policy effort. There is nothing worse than a
stop-and-go policy, particularly, in fast moving areas such as ICT. We need
continuous and realistic policies.
? Whilst European players are thinking about how to do it, others, from other
continents/countries such as Korea (e.g. the Korean 8-3-9 Action Plan), just do it and
if we do not watch out, we will miss the boat completely.
? Contrary to what the press reports, we are interested in moving forward. Both public
and private stakeholders have already expressed their strong desire to make things
4.3 The Thematic Clusters results
The Thematic Clusters played a major role in our process to deliver a vision by providing
fundamental orientations within clusters built for this occasion as guidance for thought. The
results of the Thematic Clusters‟ work are fully described in Annex 1. They made a major contribution to our vision and their key outcomes are summarised henceforth.
Thematic Cluster 1: “Governance, Citizenship and Cohesion” Taking into account major social, economic and technological trends, a vision for governance,
citizenship and cohesion for Europe in 2010 was formulated as follows: to build a “social connectivity network”. The vision is to build a society where all individuals are empowered,
through ICT access and capabilities:
? To live, relate and work in the way they choose;
? To seize employment and education opportunities;
? To take part in local communities, in public affairs at all levels, and also into
transparent and participatory democratic processes.
4 FISTERA mini-Delphi to eEurope‟s Second Section organised in three sections (R&D and social needs; EU 10 goals and IST areas; 12 ?Panoramic Delphis? (such as health, security, education and culture, ageing, ...)
available at http:// http://les.man.ac.uk/PREST/fistera/default.htm. “FISTERA Special Report to the eEurope Team” by C. Pascu, JC Burgelman and R. Compano available at http://fistera.jrc.es