Increased participation of citizens in political life

Information and communication technology is key enabler in the modernisation and democratisation of the public sector, and of society as a whole. During the first decades of computerisation, e-government was very much about automation and rationalisation of manual processes in the public sector, thereby getting more value for taxpayers’ money. This goal is still important, not least in developing countries, but the main focus has shifted towards the interactions between governments on different levels, on the one hand, and citizens and enterprises on the other. One line in this development is about offering citizens and enterprises better public services, e-services. Another line is about involving all parties concerned in public decision-making, e-participation and e-democracy.

A main focus of modern e-government is the functioning of society as a whole, including the system of governance, the information economy, and the knowledge-based society with open access to public data. By being more open, governments can overcome serious economic, social and environmental challenges. For example, EU has since a few years promoted open data to stimulate innovation and growth. The expected outcome is increased participation of citizens in political life as well as innovation of new services and products.