EU government awards ask more of entrants

12 Apr 2005

This year’s eEurope Awards, organised by the European Commission and eligible for entry from 25 member states, will put greater emphasis on projects that demonstrate good practice and high impact that can then go on to be disseminated across the EU.

The awards were first launched in 2003 and have been criticised in the past for putting too much onus on the relatively simple provision of online services rather than the deeper-rooted transformation of the public sector.

Speaking in Brussels Christine Leitner, head of the eEurope Awards Project Management Secretariat, outlined the themes for this years awards: creating the right environment for governments, businesses and citizens to benefit from transformation; government readiness: transformation in organisation and innovation in the back office; service use, putting citizens and business at the centre; and measuring the impact of benefits to government, businesses and citizens.

This marks a significant step towards a greater focus on back-office transformation as well as a more rigorous approach to accountability and benchmarking. Leitner said the evaluation criteria was also changing to ensure entries were stronger. This was to be measured in terms of innovation, impact and their ability to be transferred. She added that there was already great interest in the 2005 awards saying more than a hundred enquiries had already been received. Entries will be accepted until 1 June.

The eEurope Awards was set up to recognise innovative initiatives in the areas of e-government and e-health within Europe. The best applications are selected for exhibition at a conference on the topic while the most outstanding entries are presented with a trophy at the annual EU ministerial conference. This year it takes place in Manchester on 24-25 November, during the tenure of the UK EU presidency.

By Ian Campbell