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EISCO Conferences

EISCO conferences have become a major event for politicians and experts working at local and regional level to discuss e-Government and Information Society strategies.

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EISCO conferences have become a major event for politicians and experts, working at local and regional levels, to discuss eGovernment and Information Society strategies.

Starting in 1998 in Brussels the EISCO Conferences have taken place every 18 months. They have become a major event for politicians and experts, working at local and regional levels, to discuss eGovernment and Information Society strategies.

Little by little these conferences have become a privileged European environment where representatives from municipalities and regions can discuss eGovernment and the development of the Information Society at local and regional levels. Between 350 and 450 people from 25 to 30 countries have participated in each conference. An outstanding feature of the conference has been the time dedicated to the preparation and promotion of the event, organising the agenda and selecting the good practices (around 40 per single event). This preparation has ensured successful debates during the conferences along with solid concluding statements. EISCO is the only event in Europe not organised at state level or by the Commission, relating to eGovernment and the Information Society, that has always produced a final statement in the form of a declaration or manifesto that is endorsed by all the participants.

Since 2003, important European networks representing local and regional governments (like eris@, e-Forum and Telecities/Knowledge Society Forum of EUROCITIES) have joined the Organising Committee and have actively participated in the conferences and in the preparation of the concluding statement. New thematic networks created within EU projects supported by ELANET (CEMR), such as DEMONET and the network IT4ALL (responsible for the follow-up of the II World Summit on the Information Society of Cities and Local governments in 2005 in Bilbao), joined EISCO in 2007.

EISCO is now a European milestone in eGovernment, because:

  1. The programme has addressed the real issues being tackled at local and regional levels , which have not necessarily coincided with the priorities set-up by the European programmes;
  2. The conference show-case has provided a rather comprehensive vision of the state-of-the-art in eGovernment developments in the public sector, combining local and regional good practices with national and European good practices;
  3. With the launching, through EISCO, of the Digital Local Agenda process in 2005 (Declaration of Cracow), a unique and strategic framework was built influencing national, regional and local policies on the implementation of eGovernment. This is now being supported through the CIP/PSP (Policy Support Programme) that has approved two projects aiming at capacity building using the DLA.

Presently the principle objective of the EISCO conference is to support the advancement of the DIGITAL LOCAL AGENDA and its main priorities.

During the EISCO 2005 Conference in Cracow, Poland, The Digital Local Agenda was identified by ELANET and CEMR as the main European instrument for local and regional governments to plan and develop eGovernment and the Information Society at a local level. The II World Summit of Cities and Local Governments on the Information Society (the Bilbao Declaration and Action Plan, November 2005) also launched the Digital Local Agenda worldwide as a main initiative to mitigate the digital divide (between developed and less developed countries, between areas where broadband and eServices are available and  rural areas where often this is not the case and finally between people who have the skills and means to participate in the Information Society and those who do not).

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