EU official hopes European experience in e-government can help China

A European Union (EU) official hoped that EU's experience in e-government can help China proceed much more quickly in this regard.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Friday, Viviane Reding, EU commissioner responsible for information society and media, said "Participation of people in the decision-making is the real goal of e-government."

"Governments have to do more than just releasing information to the public," she said.

E-government has to be set up for people "to be informed of" and "to participate in", she said.

Governments need services and participation to have feedback. This view was shared by the EU and the Chinese government, she noted.

"Electronic access is important, especially for the old generation, disabled people and those living far away from the city hall," the EU commissioner added.

Last July, China and the EU launched a four-year project in a bid to improve China's on-line government services. Five Chinese cities were chosen as pilot areas for the project, including Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan Province, Yantai in east China's Shandong and Baotou, the second largest city in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Governments of the selected cities will improve on-line service networks, such as emergency health response systems, public service systems and administrative approval systems, according to the commissioner.

A recent report released by the State Council Information Office said in China, 96.1 percent of government departments at the state level and 81.3 percent of local governments have launched portal websites.

Yet most of the websites lag behind in terms of on-line services and public participation, said Zhang Xianghong, senior vice-president of a consulting company under the China Center for Information Industry Development.

Source: Xinhua

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