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The "Information Society Programme" in Greece

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What is IS|Policies|Operational Programme|Key texts|

What is IS

Information and telecommunication technologies are rapidly changing the way we work, play, communicate, and are transforming the bases of economic competition. They create, on a global scale, a new Information Society with new conditions and new opportunities for development, prosperity and the quality of life.

Greece's participation, as an equal, in the emerging Information Society is a major priority for the government. At a time when other countries are moving rapidly in this area, the absence of a comprehensive strategy and any delay in its implementation entails the danger of cutting Greece off from developments in Europe and in the world.

This text is the government White Paper for the development of the Information Society in Greece in the coming years. Set against the background of what has been achieved to date, it presents a comprehensive strategy, defines priorities and specific goals for the future, as well as means, initiatives and mechanisms for achieving them. It was requested by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and was presented in its original form in the Council of Ministers in 1999. In its current form it has been updated by incorporating initiatives for the Information Society during 2000 and 2001.

The text presents the main priorities, individual actions and goals in all the sectors of the economy and society that jointly shape the new environment: in public administration, in education, in the economy and the labour market, in health and welfare, in environment and transport, in culture and mass media, in the telecommunications infrastructure and in regional development.

At the same time the text aims at making citizens aware of the opportunities and risks involved in the course towards the Information Society. The challenge of the Information Society is a challenge for us all, and its shape in the future depends largely on the active participation of all citizens.

This text is intended to serve as a starting point in a public dialogue on Greece's course towards the Information Society and as a reference and basis for future action and initiatives by the public and private sector in the years to come.

The main tool for the realization of Information Society initiatives in Greece is the 3rd Community Support Framework. In this context, the White Paper presented here forms the basis for the funding initiatives that are included in the Operational Programme fo r the Information Society of the 3rd CSF which was approved by the European Commission in April 2000.
Policies

IS policy is multi-dimensional. It relates to initiatives aimed at using information and communication technologies for the creation of an open and effective government, for economic development and job creation, for the transformation of the education system, the improvenment of quality of life, the protection and promotion of Greek culture and civilisation, the equal participation of regions in the global village, and the development of the national communications infrastructure. It also concerns initiatives for safeguarding citizens' rights and ensuring participation for all in the digital age.

In these pages you will find information about all the dimensions of IS policy. The information relates to Greek and European legal and regulatory texts, particular government initiatives as well as more general analytical documents. These pages wil be updated regularly and it is our intention to create an "electronic archive" for all relevant policy texts.
Operational Programme

The Greek government attaches a particular importance to promoting the information society (IS) in Greece. It considers that new information and communication technologies constitute an essential tool for an open and effective government and for improved competitiveness. They create new ways of work, new skills, and the need for continuous learning and adaptation of the education system. At the same time they allow for a better quality of life with the provision of improved health, transport and environmental services, and contribute to the promotion of cultural heritage and of the Greek language.

The government's concern is to ensure that the emerging Information Society will be a society for all, without discrimination between information haves and have-nots, safeguarding citizens' rights and the freedom of expression and information. With the aim of promoting the IS in a coherent and integrated manner, a separate Operational Programme for the Information Society (OPIS) is proposed in the framework of the present CSF. This is an innovative horizontal programme, cutting across government departments, which aims to implement the essential features of the White Paper of the Greek government entitled Greece in the Information Society of February 1999. It also follows through the eEurope initiative and the conclusions of the Feira Summit of June 2000.

Key Texts
Operational Programme Information Society White Paper
Support Initiatives