V4DIS--Visegrad Group for Developing Information Society March 28--30, 2004, Prague & Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

DIS-V4 Basic Description


Towns, municipalities and self-governing regions play an important role in the process of developing information society owing to their close everyday contact with citizens. Europe's strategic goal is to become a knowledge-based society, one as competitive and dynamic as possible. To achieve this, promoting IS development and gradually fulfilling the objectives stipulated in the eEurope 2005--IS for All Action Plan is of the utmost importance.

Crucial for the effective progress of towns, municipalities and regions when it comes to IS development is mutual cooperation and exchange of experience. The European Union places great emphasis on maintaining regional, language, cultural and social differentiations. In this regard, and in connection with EU accession, it is a laudable aim to create common eStrategies that take specific conditions in the Central European region into consideration. The common Visegrad platform is a robust means for integrating our present and future interests through the eEurope 2005 Action Plan within the common strategic goals of the entire European Union.


Our project aims to create the necessary framework for mutual communication, strengthening mutual bonds and exchange of experience by means of the conference and long-term cooperation of the expert team from all Visegrad countries in drawing up the "Visegrad Declaration on Specificities of IS Development" in our region. We strive to actively engage national associations of municipalities, possessing a large and decisive potential for disseminating common conference results in their respective countries. We want to launch active participation in creating strategies and programmes within Europe, primarily in the form of participation in the Co-ordination Committee of the eEurope 2005 Action Plan and other European organisation, for instance, ELANET, Telecities, Erisa and Global Cities Dialogue. The project's fundamental objective is to hand over the conference's conclusions and the Declaration itself to responsible persons at the level of V4 governments, the respective European institutions (the European Commission, the Committee of Regions etc.) and the above-mentioned European network organisations.

It is also important to compare similar activities, projects and lobbying strategies of analogous regional groups, especially those in Scandinavian countries and the Baltic republics.

Another goal of the project is, through the media and the creation of the website collecting relevant information on the issue in question, to provide the general public with extensive information on the activities in Visegrad countries directed to the vision "Information Society for All".

With regard to the internet being a tool highly popular among the young, the project aims to contribute to the exchange of experience from projects implemented hitherto and, at the same time, to support the further creation of valuable, content-rich, cultural and social information sources at the local, regional and nationwide level, accessible to as many citizens as possible, and thus stimulate the demand for culture and participation in cultural activities. Within the framework of the conference, the issue of multilingual, open online projects should also be discussed, with the aim to enhance cross-border exchange of information on cultural, social and tourist events.

The gradual digitalisation of cultural sources, creation of online cultural portals and provision of public information services by municipal libraries effectively supplements and extends traditional forms of presenting culture and the cultural heritage. Cultural cooperation in Europe is supported through the Culture 2000 programme and a number of other specific European Union programmes and funds, which will also be an item of the conference agenda.


The name of the conference, DIS-V4, means "Developing Information Society in V4 Countries". The conference will be held in parallel with the National Conference "Internet in Public Administration"--ISSS 2004. The ISSS conference is the most significant eGovernment event in the Czech Republic and CEEC countries. The number of participants in this sixth year of the ISSS Conference – more than 1,800 from 26 countries (representatives of the European Commission, state, regional and local administration, including Ministers from the Czech Republic, State Secretaries from Slovakia and Hungary, Members of Parliaments of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the Lord Mayor of Prague, representatives of European networks, IT specialists, representatives of private companies from the field of information and communication technologies, and 72 companies taking part in the accompanying exhibition)--and increased interest of media partners is a testament to this. As a rule, the Conference is opened by the inaugural speech of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic.

The conference would be held on March 28--30, 2004 in Hradec Kralove in parallel with the national ISSS 2004 conference. The participants would also be provided with a Sunday social programme in Prague, including a reception at the Prague City Council. Part of the conference would be an exhibition of 12 projects (3 each from each Visegrad country), comprising the presentation place, computer, internet connection and exhibition panels. Conference rooms would be equipped with high-quality internet connection for direct presentation of projects, projection and audiovisual technology, as well as interpreting installations--cabins and headphones. The DIS-V4 conference would have available lounges for separate negotiations. The price of the registration fee would include costs for catering, conference materials and organisation of accompanying events (gala social evening etc.). We expect that approximately 140 participants form Visegrad countries will attend the conference. Primarily, they would be representatives of municipal associations, lord mayors, and representatives of towns and municipalities, representatives of regions, as well as representatives of state administration, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), museums, galleries and libraries. Academics, independent experts and representatives of the general professional public would also be invited. In addition, this parallel conference would be open to participants in the ISSS 2004 conference, which is expected to be attended by a further 1,800 people. The main opening session would be common, with interpreting and camera transmission provided. The Provisional Programme of the Conference is attached.

National competitions for the best websites of towns and municipalities aim to collect best practices for other towns and municipalities and thus become a practical blueprint for creation of eStrategies and web portals of individual municipalities. In the Czech Republic, approximately 200 towns and municipalities have taken part in the competition, with several dozens participating in Slovakia and Poland. With the aim of highlighting the conference's overarching theme, the cultural and social aspects of municipal websites would also be specially evaluated and the aspects of cross-border information contained in these websites emphasised. The EuroCrest competition highlights and stresses individual national specificities and, with the possibility of direct mutual communication, facilitates the seeking of new forms of foreign cooperation or finding inspiration in successful projects implemented in neighbouring countries. Within the project, we would ensure the drawing up of the methodology of evaluation and actual evaluation of the competing websites, the announcement ceremony, production of diplomas and elaboration of a part of the electronic Guidebook comprising the results and conclusions of the competitions' evaluations. The Guidebook would also contain the Visegrad Declaration, provide information on national associations and national programmes pertaining to the development of information society and sum up the content of conference speeches.

Applicant for the Project

Association of Czech At, Czech Republic

Partner of the Project

  • HadroNet Ltd., Hungary
  • The Union of Towns and Communities of the Slovak Republic, Slovak Republic
  • Association of Polish Cities, Poland

Contact person

Michaela Rencinova, michaela@rencin.cz