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Governing Telecommunications and the New Information Society in Europe

Edited by Jacint Jordana

European countries have recently been involved in an extremely broad set of regulatory changes to introduce competitive markets into the area of telecommunications. New policies to develop the information society in Europe are also emerging, taking into account the changes in regulations. The contributions included in this book examine several dimensions of these major European issues, including multi-level governance, the instruments used to produce these policy changes, and the European idiosyncrasies of globalisation trends.
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Chapter 10: European National Platforms for the Development of the Information Society

David Sancho


3802_GovernTelecom/Chap 10 22/8/02 8:59 am Page 1 10. European national platforms for the development of the Information Society David Sancho INTRODUCTION In this chapter, we are going to analyse the policymaking styles of four European countries with regard to providing impetus for the IS (Information Society) together with their relationship with the action plans elaborated by the EC (European Commission). First of all, we will study the formulation and the content of government action plans concerning the IS in the 1990s. Secondly, we will analyse how, in recent years, and in particular following the initiative ‘e-Europe’, these programmes have resulted in a certain coming together and convergence of policies of a promotional nature carried out by member states. To begin with, the different governments’ action plans regarding the IS took on a very different shape. Some countries based their programmes on state intervention with a global focus via strategic planning, while in other countries, government initiatives consisted of specific plans of action, which were subsequently systemised into plans of action on a wider scale. The timing and sequence of these political plans of actions were very varied, as was the degree of ‘anticipation’ or ‘reaction’ of the different national governments. In the chapter we will comment on possible reasons for these differences and we will concentrate on the formulation processes of the policies, given that the relative newness of these initiatives (the late 1990s) means that the evaluation of their implementation and social impact require a time aspect...

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