E-Government internationally

Governments all over the world are endeavouring to improve digital interaction for their citizens, businesses and administrative agencies. Digital technologies and the digitalisation of processes and working practices are being expanded.

Both at European level and globally, all kinds of initiatives and ideas for setting up/expanding electronic public administration systems are being implemented. Where these efforts are coordinated, further development work can be harmonised.


The term "e-government" is now synonymous with modern and efficient public services, so it has come to be of great importance in an international context. The possibility of being able to access administrative services from wherever you are offers huge potential.

E-government in Europe

The European Commission (EC) is addressing the subject of e-government primarily in the context of GD CNET (Directorate‑General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology), GD DIGIT (Directorate-General for Digital Services) and the GD GROW (Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs).

The Commission has been interested in creating an "information society" since the 1980s. It has developed various initiatives and programmes which have been built on and adapted over the years.

Digital Decade

With its Digital Decade initiative, the European Union aims to speed up the digital transformation throughout Europe.

Key objectives:

  • A population with basic digital skills and specialists with advanced digital skills
  • Secure and sustainable digital infrastructure
  • Successful digital transformation of businesses   
  • Digitalised public services

Digital Agenda for Europe

The Digital Agenda for Europe 2020 is a European Union Information and Communication Technology (ICT) programme. The key objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe relate to the digital society, digital business, access and connectivity, research and innovation.

The programme is part of the Europe 2020 strategy, an overall programme to achieve more competitiveness and productivity without jeopardising social cohesion in the member states. So far, the strategy has included: the e-Government Action Plan for Europe (2006/2010), the implementation of the Single Euro Payments Area SEPA (2012) and the Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe (2015).

The European Commission's eGovernment Benchmark report has been studying online public administration services (e-government) in EU member states and certain other European countries since 2001. More about the facts and data in the eGovernment Benchmark.


Whereas Chief Digital Officers (CDO) are responsible for driving forward the digitalisation strategy as a whole, Chief Information Officers (CIO) focus on digitalisation in public administration services, in the context of the Digital Austria platform.

E-government globally

All over the world governments are endeavouring to introduce e-government, i.e. the use of digital technologies and the digitalisation of processes and working practices, to bring about improvements in how they interact with the general public and ensure compliance with information requirements.

At an international level, the following organisations are involved in e-government:

United Nations (UN)

The UN (which currently has 193 members) stands for security, peace, human rights, promoting public welfare, reducing social inequalities and protecting the environment.
Various aspects of e-government are on the agenda of a number of specialist organisations within the United Nations.
One example is the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), where the e-commerce working group is trying to establish a global tool to enable the use and mutual recognition of electronic trust services and electronic identities.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

The OECD currently has 56 members (industrialised nations) and plays a central role in "good governance" (by governments and businesses). The organisation helps governments to manage the economic, social and environmental challenges of a globalised economy. Its headquarters is in Paris.

The Public Governance Committee (PGC) of the OECD is the steering committee on the modernisation of public administration services. It sets the strategic direction for administrative reforms and evaluates modernisation measures. There is also what is called the OECD e-Leaders Network which enables members to share their experiences of current e-government activities.

The OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) is the OECD's steering committee on all matters to do with digitalisation. It also plays a steering role in the OECD's broader Going Digital project.

World Bank

The World Bank (185 member states) is a special organisation within the United Nations which aims to reduce poverty – especially in developing countries – and improve living standards. To that end, the World Bank offers loans, political advice and technical support.

The World Bank is also closely involved with e-government. It has published a handbook on the subject and runs an e-government website, hosted by the E-Government Practice Group of the Information & Communication Technologies Sector Unit.