TeleCities: The Role of City Networks in E-Government Processes
Ten years ago, in 1993, thirteen cities willing to actively contribute to the development of the information and knowledge society, started to think about the opportunities that ICT would have brought to cities’ administrations and, most of all, firmly believed in the importance of the exchange of experiences and the transfer of knowledge in a cooperative framework to ensure the rise of a European inclusive information society. The network has grown, counting up to 130 members, and still does, but its objectives remain unchanged: fostering the widespread access to digital infrastructures and services as the key for a more competent and competitive European society, with a clear focus on the role played by municipal administrations, local communities, citizens and businesses. The European Union and national governments are actively and successfully engaged in programs and initiatives oriented toward the achievement of the Lisbon goals, but their efforts require a strong enactment by local administrations, because cities and local communities are the loci of innovation. Within urban contexts citizens and businesses require new services and improved security and confidence; within cities citizens and businesses association participates in new ways and through innovative instruments (ICT) to decision making processes; local administrations, and in particular municipal administrations, represent the primary actors in creating innovative procedures, technological solutions, organizational arrangements aimed at responding effectively to emerging citizens’ needs.
These beliefs drove the birth and the growth of TeleCities as a body that is a direct expression of the active engagement of cities and local public administrations in the process of creating a new Europe, within which ICT and an improved local government will allow the expression of the European social and intellectual capital at its full potential.
To consolidate the work of the last ten years, TeleCities is working on the elaboration and the launch of the Charter of eRights for all citizens, that will serve as a framework for all TeleCities’ members in the creation of a more inclusive Information and Knowledge Society. The charter will represent a bridge between the results achieved by member cities and the future challenge they will have to face, that of building up European public services and make TeleCities a platform to stimulate local democracy, foster the full development of a European economy based on knowledge and contribute to the emergence of a real European citizenship.
KeywordsPublic Administration Information Society Intellectual Capital Knowledge Society Citizen Participation
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