ISSS--Local and regional information society March 23--25, 2003
Prague & Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

Prague Declaration on the Information Society Development

03/24/2003, 15:00


We are aware of Europe's strategic goal to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. To achieve the goal, it is necessary to support the development of the Information Society and meet the objectives outlined in the eEurope 2005 Information Society for All Action Plan.

We are aware that the Information Society development is an important factor for the effective and transparent public administration, development of an open society, citizens' involvement in democratic processes, and improvement of the overall quality of life. To meet these objectives an active approach of administrations at the regional and local levels is required.

In the process of the Information Society development, large cities play an important role due to their large number of inhabitants, concentration of economic and creative potential and quite frequently, their more complicated internal workings of administrations. A particularly important role is played by the candidate countries' capitals which, thanks to their position and ambitions on the international scene, must become the bearers of ideas and solutions on par with state-of-the-art information and communication technologies and their application in an advanced Europe.

The basis for effective action of cities and regions' in the development of Information Society is their mutual co-operation and exchanges of experience. We place a special emphasis on co-operation with European networks and associations and on mutual co-operation between the candidate countries' cities and regions, while pursuing the objective of influencing the EU's strategic decision-making, its policies and programmes, and gaining access to the EU's resources.

Goals and Commitments

Recognise the EU's strategic objectives related to Information Society development (eEurope 2005) and their implementation in cities' strategic plans (eStrategies).

Through the Information Society development, contribute to efficiency and economic growth of cities; development of an open society; stimulation the participation of citizens in the democratic process and improvements in the quality of citizens' life in all spheres.

Improve access, dissemination and exploitation of public sector information, ensure that all group of citizens have easy access to essential public data, as well as promoter on line interaction between citizens and government.

The changeover to electronic interaction involves major changes to the internal workings of administrations which can be complex to manage. The challenge for administration is therefore to adapt themselves and introduce innovative ways of working including a systematic approach to the education and training of public administration employees.

Promote the role played by cities and regions in the implementation of eStrategies in co-operation with national and European structures; strengthen mutual co-operation with international networks and associations; and provide for exchanges of the experience with this co-operation. Pursue systematic documenting and benchmarking of the implementation of the objectives set out in eStrategies. Jointly seek participation in EU projects and programmes. For these activities, create the optimum preconditions including proper and stable partnerships with the private sector and scientific institutions.

For achieving the above objectives it is desirable to take the following actions in the near future:

  • Set out a road map for achieving the EU's goals, and then, based on specific conditions and priorities, implement the programmes and projects in practice.
  • Analyse the situation in each city with a special regard to best practice; promote best practice through exchange of experiences across Europe and participate in the benchmarking of the results achieved.
  • Through participation in European conferences and workshops to enhance collaboration and exchange of best practice.
  • Enhance mutual cooperation and networking, provide information about events, seek solutions in working on joint projects.
  • Become actively involved in the activities pursued by national associations and international organisations that bring together cities and regions in the area of Information Society development (for example, TeleCities, ERISA, ELANET, Global Cities Dialogue, and possibly others).
  • Take an active part in debates on European strategies and programmes, and participate in selected structures (for example, the Co-ordination Committee of the eEurope 2005 Action Plan)
  • Proceed jointly in preparations for international Information Society summits (Geneva 2003, Tunis 2004).

This Declaration was adopted at the meeting of IT representatives of the candidate countries' capitals, held in Prague on 23 March 2003 on the occasion of the ISSS/LORIS 2003 Conference.