Europe

Author:G. Arévalo Nieto/E. Fernández Vicente/J.A. Messía de la Cerda Ballesteros/J.A. Rubio Blanco
Pages:21-122
 
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We describe here our key findings concerning assessment of e-government, e-participation and data protection with respect to the 25 EU countries. The data comes mainly from UN reports, with some improvements coming from Eurostat databases, as explained above. 2.1. e-Government and e-Participation AssessmentWeb Measure IndexIn order to analyze the web presence of the EU 25 countries we have gone through their websites, and assessed the five parameters explained above. Nevertheless, and due to the difficulty in obtaining a final scoring for them, based on the different administrative systems, we decided to conduct the quantitative analysis based on the data supplied by the UN e-Government Readiness Report 2004. If we go through these figures we can observe the following EU 25 ranking: [SEE PDF ATTACHED][SEE PDF ATTACHED]The top-ten EU countries that we can find are the ones with values almost over 0.700. This group is headed by the UK, and is mainly made up of Northern and Central European countries. The presence in this group of two new member states, Malta and Estonia, must be highlighted. A second group of eleven countries is the one formed by those with values within the 0.698-0.400 band. This group consists of six new member states, three southern Mediterranean countries. Also there are Ireland and Luxembourg.The third group is formed by the four EU 25 countries with values below 0.400. Here we can find two southern-European countries, Spain and Portugal, and two new member states, Latvia and Cyprus. [SEE PDF ATTACHED]Telecommunications Infrastructure IndexUsing the methodology already described, and concentrating only on European data, we have built the following ranked table for the European countries:[SEE PDF ATTACHED][SEE PDF ATTACHED]We have identified four categories of country according to the values of this index: In the first group we can find five countries with a value higher than
0.700. They are mainly northern European countries, with economies based on high value added services, and are well-developed. The second group would consist of countries where this index is within the limits 0.400-0.700. Here, we can find almost all the central European countries, and some new member states. Leading the third group we can find Spain followed by Greece. In this group there are three Mediterranean countries with economies highly dependent on Tourism and some new member states. The fourth group is fully made up of new member states with developing economies. [SEE PDF ATTACHED]Human Capital Index According to the afore-mentioned methodology, we have built the following ranking for the European Countries: [SEE PDF ATTACHED]This new index calculated from available data in the Eurostat New Cronos website and only considering the differences between the European regions and countries, shows us more clearly the discrepancies in Human Capital within Europe. Unfortunately, no comparable data was available for Slovakia, Malta and Denmark. Within this ranking, we can find three groups of countries: x The first corresponds to countries whose index is higher than 0.700. Two northern European countries and two central-European ones can be here found. All these countries also have the highest value of this index in the UN report.x The second group, with values between 0.400-0.600 is the largest one. Here we can find almost all the Mediterranean, Eastern and Central European countries.x The third group with values under 0.400 consists of Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic and Luxembourg. As far as Luxembourg is concerned, it must be highlighted that students usually go to neighbouring countries to complete their tertiary studies, thus affecting this index. Nevertheless, this fact can be also observed in the UN report, in which it is also in last place of the European countries.[SEE PDF ATTACHED]Comparison Between TCI, HCI and WMI In this section we are going to examine the interrelations between the three variables: TCI Index, HCI Index and WMI Index for the EU 25 countries. One method to analyze two or more variables together is through Cluster Analysis Method. The main goal of this method is to form groups of observations (countries in this case), with values closer within each group or cluster and different between the identified groups, when we consider the different variables at the same time. First of all we are going to find the centroid points according to this method: [SEE PDF ATTACHED]The dendrogram results corresponding to this analysis is the following: [SEE PDF ATTACHED] With this analysis we can find that there are five group of countries identified: - Group 1: Austria, Germany and Netherlands, which are high-medium ranked.- Group 2: Czech Rep., Hungary, Poland, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, and a subgroup formed by Estonia, Ireland, France and Italy.- Group 3: Belgium, Finland, United Kingdom, Sweden. They are top ranked countries for the three variables. - Group 4: Luxembourg, that is top ranked for one of the variables, but no so for the other two. - Group 5: Cyprus, with very low level for the three variables. Malta, Denmark and Slovakia are out of the dendrogram, since there was not data available on HCI for these three countries. It is also interesting to study the relation between the three variables by pairs: TCI vs HCI, WMI vs HCI, and TCI vs WMI: TCI vs HCI: As we can note in the following chart, there is no clear direct relation between TCI and HCI: [SEE PDF ATTACHED] We have plot a central line on the axis X (TCI) on 0,47, and so on 0,52 for the axis Y. We have calculated these central lines according to the previous cluster analysis: [SEE PDF ATTACHED][SEE PDF ATTACHED]Zone 1 is mainly composed of southern EU countries, and new member states, with Spain and Portugal being very close to Greece, Cyprus, Poland and Hungary. Zone 2 is formed by five countries from central EU. For these countries we can note a high level of development in education, but not for the Telecommunications Infrastructures. Zone 3 comprises only three countries, whose values for education are behind those for development of IT infrastructures. It must be highlited that corresponds to new member states. Zone 4 is composed by six countries, all of which are northern or central EU25 countries, where the degree of development of IT and education are both high. WMI vs HCI: According to the cluster analysis previous conducted we identified the centroid lines per variable, being 0,52 for HCI and 0,58 for WMI. In this case also we only have available for 22 of the 25 EU countries. As we can find in the scatter plot, it seems to by a positive relation between both variables: [SEE PDF ATTACHED]TCI vs WMI: According to the cluster analysis previous conducted we identified the centroid lines per variable, being 0,47 for TCI and 0,58 for WMI. In this case it is available data for the 25 EU countries. Is we observe the scatter plot, we can find the following: [SEE PDF ATTACHED] In this case is even more clear the positive relation between both variables. Since only Luxembourg seems to be out of the trend. If we divide the scatter plot using the centroid points obtained from the Cluster analysis, we obtain the following. [SEE PDF ATTACHED]e-Participation Index This index, as mentioned in the methodology, is calculated from categorical questions, so it must be considered with care. According to the methodology described, we obtained the following ranking for the EU25 countries: [SEE PDF ATTACHED][SEE PDF ATTACHED]The main questions evaluated were above the capacities of the government on electronic services, the information offered to citizens and the synergy looked with these ones. The results were obtained giving the same weight to all the questions.According to this ranking we can distinguish three groups of countries: x The first group of countries corresponds to the six with values of this index over 0.600. This group is formed mainly by EU25 northern and central European countries. It is quite surprising to have Malta within this group, but it must be taken into account that in the UN report it was ranked as the 6th EU 25 country, being in 5th place if we only consider the value of the questionnaire completed through the EProdat study for e-government. x With values of the index between 0.350-0.600 there is a second group formed by 11 EU25 countries. They are mainly southern and central European countries. x A third group is formed by the 8 countries with values below 0.300. It must be highlighted that 7 of these countries are new member states.[SEE PDF ATTACHED]2.2. Country Status QuoWe shall now provide a detailed account of the assessment at each country: AustriaThe Austrian Government boasts a considerable online presence, offering up to eighteen services via a user-friendly portal. In addition, this portal (http://www.help.gv.at/) can be consulted in a wide variety of languages although the quantity of general information cannot be considered to be extensive. The portal has been adequately distributed on the Internet but is lacking in links to Government ministries and regional governments. Furthermore, the portal gives access to a database of information regarding laws and regulations which the citizen can then download. Security is a matter which can be improved on this portal which is lacking in extensive contact information for citizens. The portal still offers neither the means to carry out online transactions nor online chat rooms. The percentage of services available online is acceptable, though this is not the case as far as the percentage of information is concerned. The portal scores averagely on accessibility of information and its usefulness to citizens though it should be stated that the updating of this
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