E-Government Challenges in European Countries

E-Government Challenges in European Countries

Carlotta del Sordo (University of Bologna, Forlì Campus, Italy), Rebecca Levy Orelli (University of Bologna, Forlì Campus, Italy) and Emanuele Padovani (University of Bologna, Forlì Campus, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0324-0.ch036
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To what extent and in which direction does the recent so-called “shift from e-Government to e-Governance systems” take place in European governments? Much has been claimed and written about the influence of e-Government on the modernization and growth of public sector initiatives in Europe. Little is known, however, about how the shift from e-Government to e-Governance takes place in European governments. In particular, in this chapter, an overview of both challenges and advantages of implementing e-Governance strategies is presented, by examining how closely and critically intertwined e-Government and e-Governance are in European countries, with particular reference to the emerging ones. In fact, according to the European Commission indexes, European countries have been split in two groups: Pioneers (P) that are the “best-in-class” EU members, and Followers (F) that have only recently undertaken their path towards the ICT and e-government implementation and still have to foster the e-governance development. The authors judge this comparison as particular instructive in order to draw out some lessons that can be learnt by emerging countries about how to face these challenges.
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2. Context And Theoretical Framework For E-Government And E-Governance In Europe

Although previous studies focused on and described the implementation of e-Government in European countries under different perspectives (Dunleavy et al. 2006; EIPA 2003; Hood 1983; OECD 1997, 2003; Santos & Heeks 2003, Heeks 1999, 2006), there seems to be a missing link: to what extent does the recent so-called “shift from e-Government to e-Governance systems” take place in European governments? Research has delved into the factors that inhibit or promote the adoption of IT systems and e-Government in general in the public sector. However, the relationship between e-Government and e-Governance is not clearly outlined. E-Government has an impact on accountability and performance (Orelli et. al. 2010; Reddick & Frank 2007) that still remain the scope of any public management reform in the Western world (Bouckaert & Pollitt 2004); thus there might be a strong connection between e-Government and the ultimate goal of any e-Governance initiative.

Key Terms in this Chapter

User Centricity (UC): Provides a measure of the users’ confidence in e-services in terms of security and convenience, of the possibility to choose a multi-channel access, and of site’s compliance with international standards of accessibility.

New Public Governance (NPG): Has emerged as a new regime trend which focuses on the relationship with the external environment and inter-organizational relations (between governments and, especially for service provision, between public- and private-sector organizations).

Overall On Line Sophistication (OOS): Provides an indication regarding the extent to which the online provision of services is based on new models of front and back-offices integration, the reuse of available data and the degree to which the idea of pro-active service delivery is embedded.

Full On Line Availability (FOA): Measures the number of public services fully available online.

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