Statistical Indicators
Benchmarking the Information Society



Results 2001
A comprehensive report summarising the results from the evaluation of key eEurope actions for 2001 can be downloaded below:

eEurope Evaluation and Benchmarking Report 2001
PDF 582 kB
eEurope Evaluation and Benchmarking Report 2001 - Annex
PDF 518 kB

The results of the year 2001 analysis show that for seven countries (the Northern countries, France, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands) the eEurope initiative was integrated into, and gave new force to, pre-existing Information Society plans, often with similar goals and already in the implementation phase. For the other eight countries eEurope had a stronger impact, since it led to the actual implementation of a series of policies, usually already discussed in Information Society strategies plans but not yet really launched. In other words, eEurope provided additional momentum for a coherent framework of innovation promotion policies, especially in Southern Europe. Almost all Member States have translated into policy (and/or regulatory) actions the eEurope priorities, but with different levels of aggressiveness, depending on the type of action launched and of the approach followed by the country. Moreover, the level of development of national markets also affects the implementation of policy measures.

Basically, all the actions addressing the improvement of availability and access of the Internet networks, especially for schools and teachers have achieved the greatest progress.

The actions stimulating the use of the Internet, which mainly aim at accelerating adoption and frequency of usage by creating favourable conditions for market development, were not as successful. This is true also for stimulation of use of innovation in the public sector: several measures where launched to promote government on line, but main results still have to be seen. Actions where harmonisation of legislation was called for (such as law against cybercrime) are also proving difficult to be implement, not because of lack of initiatives but of their variety and range. A common element to almost all actions is that the time needed for full implementation of the policy measures launched is often underestimated, so that actual results seem slow to materialise; moreover, for most actions and most countries policy measures have been launched only recently.

Looking at the results by country, no obvious laggard emerges, nor structural gaps between groups of countries (for example between Southern European countries and the others). Of course, for every action there are forerunners and latecomers, but they are not always the same. This does not cancel out the different level of development markets, which shows for example how Greece starts off with a presence of personal computers in classroom much lower than Sweden.

But looking at policy initiatives, it is clear that Southern European Countries have made a comprehensive effort in the last years to create favourable conditions for information society development. Spain and Portugal, for example, often show up among the most active countries for policy measures in several areas. On the other hand, some Scandinavian countries where Internet usage is more developed tend towards a "hand off" approach. This means that these governments may not choose to use policy measures to reach some of eEurope targets but prefer indirect intervention or leave it to market initiatives.

A relative lack of progress is shown for the actions concerning the promotion of industry-led codes of conduct for e-commerce, and measures for life-long learning and IT training. These are policy areas which need greater attention and initiatives, as underlined also by the Commission recently. Finally, last of the list of the measured actions is the support of telework which is actively promoted only by a minority of countries.