In 1999 with the eEurope initiative the European Commission recognized the central role of e-government in order to bring the benefits of the Information Society to all European citizens. In the following years e-government action plans have been elaborated and lauched at the European, national, and local level.
In 2002 the City of Bozen-Bolzano in collaboration with the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Faculty of Computer Science, started the eBZ - Digital City initiative with the overall objective to promote the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in the local administration. Several activities have been carried out: participation in national and European projects, organization of conferences/workshops, hosting of students for thesis/internships, etc. Such activities also reflect the specific committment of the city towards e-government.
The eBZ-2015 aims to strengthen the direction that has been started with eBZ - Digital City and to recognize the strategic role of ICT in the ongoing changes of the municipal administration. This is also in line with the Strategic Development Plan of the city, where a excellence in administration emerged as one of the focus points for the next years. The eBZ 2015 initiative concentrates on the following five strategic areas:
Public Online Services and Front-Office: Activities in this area aim to provide to the citizen and businesses online access to all services and information of the public administration, guaranteeing equal access for all and trying to overcome potential differences in access conditions.
Internal Organization and Back-Office: The activities in this area focus on the technical support for an efficient internal organization of the administration which can respond in time to the needs of the citizens and businesses.
Security: The success of online services can be measured in terms of trust which citizens and businesses have. The realization of secure services is an important topic towards this goal and a major bottleneck for small and medium sized municipalities that have limited budgets and a deficiency of tecnical know how.
E-Democracy: This area covers a wide range of methods designed with the goal of fostering more participation of citizens in the workings of their government. E-democracy studies the use of ICT to support an increased participation of citizens in democratic processes: exchange opinions, participate in public debates, etc.
Research and Innovation Research and innovation are two important guidelines for the realization of eBZ-2015. The collaboration with research institutes guarantees the exploration of the newest technologies.