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A top EU commissioner has been banging on about the importance of eGovernment.

Speaking last week in Barcelona Erkki Liikanen said that eGovernment is now a "central theme in information society policy at all levels" and that it should "help to deliver better government".

He believes that the public sector can be "made more efficient by digitising information and processes" while also making "democracy function better".

eGovernment is about "increasing democratic participation and involvement", he said, which should make decision-making "visible and transparent" leading to "increased transparency and accountability".

Oh, and let's not forget that eGovernment should aim to deliver public services in such a way that they are "accessible and relevant" for all.

"We should aim for all citizens to be able to use electronic government, whether they have less digital skills, are living in remote regions, have less income, or have special physical or mental needs," he said.

But he warned that Governments have a much more difficult task to fulfil than businesses.

"They cannot choose their clients, they have to serve every one. Where business can focus on efficiency, public administrations need to pursue both efficiency and equity," he said.

"In terms of technology this means that it would be insufficient to offer online services only on PCs.

Even though PC Internet access has rapidly rising and is now around 43 per cent, television reaches almost all households.

And so it goes on. ®

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The full speech can be found here

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