Digital Divide is traditionally seen as the old vs. young, poor vs. wealthy, less educated vs. highly educated or users in the reform countries vs. Western Europeans in that the disadvantaged use internet and particularly mobile devices less frequently and readily due to obstacles in accessing these technologies. However, a closer look at real-world applications may cast some doubt on this simplistic view of the world; some examples: Authorities of some G7-Countries do not need to accept eInvoices whilst they are mandatory for the public sector in some smaller countries and accepted in others. Free WiFi is available at State Railways in Central and Eastern Europe while some Western European Railway Companies either struggle to introduce it or charge their passengers. Recent studies reveal that elderly people have started to use Internet as intensively as the younger generation and prices also for mobile access have come down considerably. Can we still uphold the significance of the Digital Divide in the light of these phenomena?
The conference aims to explore to what extent the Danube Region is digitally divided, what the driving forces of these divisions are and what factors determine them. Understanding the Digital Divide is pivotal to promote cohesion in the Danube Region and to design effective policies to enhance regional integration.
The conference addresses public sector practitioners and policy makers, industry professionals and academia alike. The disciplines covered are primarily information sciences, law and administrative science, political science, sociology and economics. Theoretical and empirical contributions are equally welcome. We especially encourage submissions addressing the European Union in general, the Danube Region and the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Beyond the general theme papers are solicited in all areas of applying ICT to the Public Sector. The conference will particularly focus on, but not limit itself to, the following topics:
- Identity management for individuals,
- Privacy and data protection (including Cyber Security),
- eDemocracy on all levels (e.g., new forms of citizen participation, internet in political campaigns, eVoting),
- The role of the internet in revolutions and in transition processes,
- Transparency and anti-corruption
- eTools to help establish a European public space,
- Open data,
- Legal aspects of eGovernment and eDemocracy,
- Economic and social impact of eGovernment and eDemocracy,
- Enabling the Digital Single Market