User Attitudes to E-Government Citizen Services in Europe

User Attitudes to E-Government Citizen Services in Europe

Jeremy Millard (Danish Technological Institute, Denmark)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/jegr.2006040103
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In 2005, the eUSER project undertook a questionnaire survey covering about 10,000 households in 10 European Union member states, the purpose of which was to provide some of the first systematic evidence in Europe of citizen user behaviour and their attitudes to the use of public services, and particularly the role of e-services in this context. The survey focused on a number of themes — the public’s use of government services, the different channels (or media) employed, the nature of potential future demand for e-government, the barriers and experiences in using e-government, and the socio-economic attributes of e-government users compared with non-users. The results provide important new information on the role that the Internet is now playing in the delivery and take-up of government services by European citizens. Face-to-face contact is still the most important channel for contacting government in Europe. In some countries (e.g., the UK), however, telephone and post have overtaken face-to-face. Results also show that potential demand for e-government services is about 50% of all government users and could be higher. One quarter of individual e-government users have acted as intermediaries for family members or friends, and one quarter have also done so on behalf of their employer. Most barriers that users anticipate they will meet when using e-government relate to difficulty in actually starting, with a feeling that face-to-face is better and the fear about data privacy important. However, once citizens have used e-government services, the barriers appear less, though still important, and relate mainly to the difficulty of feeling left alone with problems or questions.

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