The renewed Lisbon Strategy seeks to build a cohesive Europe where the opportunities and benefits of knowledge-based economy and society are open to all citizens, no matter where they live. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are central tools of this scenario.
ICT across the EU is a major lever for improving both the productivity and the competitiveness of regions. While ICT help in overcoming existing regional disparities, there is also a risk of a 'digital divide' between those that have access to the technologies – and the services they offer – and those that do not. The year 2007 opens a brand new perspective of programming and implementation of projects for development of information society financed from EU structural funds. Period 2007-2013 will bring also new-look and more integrated regional policy The Commission’s proposals are aimed to contribute to strengthen synergy between cohesion policy and the Lisbon agenda and between cohesion policy and other Community policies. Innovation and competitiveness are to be key drivers of this new approach. By giving ownership to regional and local actors, it promotes the capacity building for innovation – says European Commission.
The motto of 11th “Cities on Internet” Conference is Inclusion. Innovation. Investments – structural policy for local and regional eDevelopment. Challenges and opportunities in 2007-2010. The 11th “Cities on Internet” Conference aims at assuring possibility of:
- new EU policies and regulations presentation – new cohesion policy guidelines on planning and implementation of innovative ICT projects in regions, particularly for projects of building infrastructure for broadband internet access
- debate on lessons learnt from 2004-2006 in terms of developing innovative ICT projects financed by Structural Funds
- best practices from EU regionsand cities presentation and transfer – eGovernment, eHealth, eIntegration
- making contacts with relevant experts and complementary projects and initiatives funded under other European programmes
- identifying ideas to further development towards projects concepts
- building dialogue between European stakeholders involved in development of information society at all levels
The Conference seeks to provide effective discussion and presentation forum for those who are interested in the topic of harnessing information technologies for regional and state development. The conference is addressed to the representatives of:
- central, local and regional authorities
- local and regional civil servants
- ICT companies
- IS and ICT experts
Presentations will be given by leading experts of ICT market, administration practitioners, local and regional politicians as well as the leaders of best practices implementation of projects in UE regions. During the Conference debates with central authorities representatives, Parliamentarians and representatives of the European Commission are also expected.