Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

E-government initiatives to cross borders

21.03.2006


A new platform to help small and medium-sized government organisations (SMGOs) implement e-government strategies – with the emphasis on cross-border cooperation – has been created and tested by a pan-European team.



With people, goods, and now services, able to move freely within the Member States of the European Union, it’s perhaps surprising how exchanging information across borders can still present such a barrier. Yet even in border regions, cities geographically close to each other, but belonging to different Member States, can take weeks, or even months, to swap data on companies or individuals. And, as Pim Hengeveld, Project Manager of the IST project eMayor behind the work explains, many municipalities simply lack the resources to develop the kind of e-government services that would make such transfers quick, easy – and, of course, secure.

“Our aim with eMayor was to bring e-government within the reach of smaller government organisations around the world,” says Hengeveld. “Within the European Union the issue of cross-border exchanges is becoming increasingly important.” This calls for solutions for interoperable and secure services which take into account the organisational features and the requirements of small governmental organisations such as municipalities.


Since its beginnings in 2004, eMayor has developed a prototype platform, and had completed testing by the end of 2005. The test phase, involving 100 testers, from city administrators to citizens, underlined the cooperation between universities, companies, and municipalities that is key to eMayor’s success. Now the project management team at Deloitte in The Netherlands is preparing for a large-scale field trial that will target cities in border regions of Germany, Poland, Italy and France.

“We had a dream team of developers from the beginning,” says Hengeveld. These developers were based in a number of countries: Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and The Netherlands. While this could have been a logistical nightmare, the eMayor teams made it work: “We had a 24-hour closed working environment based on Skype,” says Hengeveld. “Basically, the teams used continuous telephone conferencing – sometimes with video too.”

This way, the partners put together a platform based on open standards. “We’ve based everything on the universally accepted, tried-and-tested standards of the W3C: so, XML, WSDL, XACML, plus PKI, and also XForms – local government organisations naturally need to use a lot of forms,” explains Hengeveld. “We wanted the eMayor platform to be as simple as possible: simple to implement, simple to connect to, simple to implement security technologies such as digital identity cards, and above all, simple to use. Our overall architecture allows for all the known e-government applications of the future, and is designed to be easy to use by a wide range of potential users.” The interface is therefore deliberately simple, and at the moment four languages are enabled: English, German, Italian and Spanish.

Furthermore, eMayor has already been tested in five European countries, and in December, successful trials were finalised involving the cities Aachen, Seville, Sienna and Bolzano. End-to-end security was also a major issue: “From passwords up to smartcards, we have ensured communication will be citizen to civil servant – not only computer to computer,” says Hengeveld.

One area that still requires development concerns the legal framework: “The issue is not privacy, but ownership,” he explains. “This varies in different countries – in Germany, data on citizens is owned by the municipality; in Belgium, however, it belongs to the King. So then the question is, on what basis can Belgium and Germany exchange this data?” But eMayor is already tackling the problem. “We are approaching university experts in law, to come up with a white paper to identify the issues and hurdles that need solving to make cross-border e-government a reality,” says Hengeveld.

“The eMayor platform is easy to use, easy to adapt to different municipalities, and it does what it set out to do,” he adds. “Now the coming field trials will show eMayor’s business viability.” The business model is not in licensing the software, since eMayor is based on Open Source, but in developing services that use the platform. “The business challenge is to get eMayor services running in different municipality departments,” says Hengeveld.

The prospects for developing such services look promising.

Other areas where eMayor can be used include preventing fraud (a problem in border areas), and cross-border policing – where there is already a legal basis for exchanging information. Another important area for the future looks to be e-procurement; this offers great savings, but will need safeguards in the form of access to all available legal information about companies. Again, eMayor can provide the answers. “On an individual level, it will also make life easier for people moving cities within the European Union,” adds Hengeveld. “In general, eMayor will enhance mobility in Europe.”

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.europa.eu.int/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/81132

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Smart Computers
21.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>