The Lisbon Strategy formulated the European Union's economy target - to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy with improved employment and social cohesion by 2010.
The European Commission's Communication provides the Action Plan eEurope 2005, which is part of the Lisbon strategy and the aim of which is to create a favorable environment for private investment and job creation, stimulate productivity, to modernize public services and give everyone the opportunity to participate in the global information society. The action plan eEurope 2005 is designed to promote secure services, applications and content, based on widely available broadband infrastructure, which has to be generally available in the European Union countries by 2005.
The information society has a great inner potential to improve the productivity and quality of life. This potential is increasing due to the development of broadband and multimedia access. This development opens up significant economic and social opportunities. New services, applications and content create new markets and provide the means for increasing productivity, as well as ensure economic growth and employment, providing the citizens with a more appropriate access to information and communication tools. Most of these services are offered by the market. The new service creation and delivery requires significant investment, which are mainly made by the private sector. However, a problem of a closed circle arises. The pre-media services subject to the broadband infrastructure depend on these services and broadband infrastructure funding depends on the services that will use this infrastructure. Actions, that are stimulating the services and infrastructure and creating such a dynamic, are needed to encourage the growth of one and the other. The main task of both service provision and infrastructure development lies with the private sector. However, the intervention of the public sector is also necessary. The main task of the public sector is to create favorable conditions for running a business, to stimulate demand, reducing the risk of private investment.
The eEurope 2005 action plan is based on two practices that stimulate one another. On the one hand, the eEurope 2005 in stimulating services, applications and content of both public services and e-business area, on the other hand, it solves the problems related to broadband and security. One of these major objectives is to provide broadband access for public administrations, schools, health care institutions. Financial instruments, using the European Investment Bank, the Structural Funds - the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund as well the Cohesion Fund, are provided for the implementation of the Action Plan eEurope 2005.
The implementation of the provisions of Lisbon strategy and the Action Plan eEurope 2005 in Lithuania are provided in the single programming document, as well as the measures formulated in its Annex, in particular the ERDF measure 3.3. The Development of Information Technology Services and Infrastructure. In accordance with the provisions of this measure, the key intervention areas are e-infrastructure and e-services. In order to develop the infrastructure, large-scale infrastructure projects have to be carried out, developing the data transfer via broadband, particularly in rural areas. Investments are directed to those areas that would not be of interest to the free market because of their unprofitableness. The main attention should be paid to rural and remote areas, which do not have a well-developed ICT infrastructure. ERDF support is also allocated to areas that are insufficient by normal commercial initiatives, support of which could result in infrastructure allowing to provide public services.
ERDF support will be granted to infrastructure development and will be open to all operators and service providers. Investment in e-infrastructure must comply with the principle of technological neutrality, it can not give preference to any particular technology, nor limit the technology choice in the regions. The choice must be based on a cost-benefit analysis approach, taking into account the possible alternatives.