New digital technologies have had a profound impact on every aspect of life in the European Union. The European Information Society, eEurope, has empowered new ways of working, new commercial service opportunities, and new ways of social interaction for EU citizens.

The power of these technologies to provide global reach and interactivity is also dramatically changing models of governance and the provision of public services by national and regional administrations in Europe.

The PRISMA Project has researched the options and opportunities presented by these challenges.

Links to the popular strategic guidelines are given below. These are in PDF format and require the Adobe Acrobat reader. Other resources are available from our resource section.


Prisma Strategic Guidelines draw together the major results of Prisma and present them in an inspiring, informative and down-to-earth manner designed to assist service providers, ICT suppliers, user organisations and policy makers to anticipate good practice requirements within eGovernment over the next five to ten years.

Prisma has 10 Strategic Guidelines currently available


SG1Administration.pdf  -  eAdministration
SG2ehealth.pdf   -  eHealth
SG3services.pdf   -  eServices for all - treating all users equally
SG4environment.pdf   -  eEnvironment
SG5transport.pdf   -  eTransport
SG6tourism.pdf   -  eTourism
SG7innovation.pdf  -  eGovernment innovation in the knowledge economy
SG8accesion.pdf   -  eGovernment in selected EU Accession States
SG9democracy.pdf   -  eDemocracy
SG10egovernment.pdf   -  eStrategies for Government



Paul Timmers, Head of Unit eGovernment,
Directorate-General Information Society
European Commission

The way we are governed in Europe is undergoing dramatic change, to which the introduction of Information and Communications Technology is making its own powerful contribution, hand-in-hand with other societal trends. This makes eGovernment one of the biggest challenges currently facing Europe as it touches on so many aspects of our personal, family, community, working and business lives.

In recognition of this importance, eGovernment has become a major focus within the eEurope 2005 Action Plan, which itself arises out of the new common policy framework for the knowledge based economy, agreed at the Lisbon Summit in March 2000, towards improved competitiveness, sustainable economic growth, more and better jobs and greater social cohesion in Europe.

The new phase of European cooperation marked by the Lisbon objectives is also supported by the 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technology development, shortly to launch its first eGovernment projects, and which itself builds directly on the 5th Framework Programme and particularly the Key Action on "Systems and Services for the Citizen".

The Prisma project has undertaken some of the most important results emerging from 5th Framework Programme research. As an accompanying measure within the Action Line "New models for providing services to citizens". Prisma's work is an impressive and potentially very influential study of good practice across a number of public eService areas which uses scenario development techniques to assist service providers, ICT suppliers, user organization and policy makers to anticipate good practice requirements within the eGovernment over the next five to ten years.

Prisma's work results from the joint effort of many people across Europe. I hope that it will be both a point of reference as well as a source of inspiration and deeper understanding.

The views expressed on the web-site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Commission.


Jeremy Millard, Prisma Coordinator,
Danish Technological Institute

The Prisma project is an accompanying measure within the 5th Framework Information Society Technologies Programme for European research and technology development, 2000-2003. Its core work involves:

  • Mapping overall trends and changes affecting eGovernmet over a 10 year time horizon;
  • identifying current good practice (state of the art) in the provision of citizen services;
  • elaborating long-term visions over 10 years for eGovernment;
  • conducting foresight and scenario-building exercises over 10 years for eGovernment;
  • developing new models of service delivery based upon future-orientated good practice for these services.

The Prisma project aims to provide for the first time a systematic analysis and synthesis of current and future impacts of new information and communication technology (ICT) on government services in Europe. Within the context of eGovernment, six major service fields have been examined in detail: administrations; health; persons with special needs: the disabled and elderly environment; transport; and tourism.

Although Prisma has undertaken a comprehensive analysis of each of these service fields in turn, a main strand of the research has also been to focus upon the synergies between them by examining common cross-cutting themes:
1. user-centred design and involvement
2. multi-channel service delivery
3. organization, work and skills
4. financing
5. social inclusion
6. regional development
7. trust, security and privacy
8. technology trends and standards
9. governance, including partnerships, collaboration and competition

A focus on these cross-cutting themes has maximized the impact and robustness of the current and future good practice analysis, scenarios and models developed by Prisma. This has enabled an integrative understanding of eGovernment service change over the next ten years to be undertaken, both in-depth within specific service fields, but also taking a broader view by linking common issues and challenges, and deriving common lessons more likely to have a future longer term resonance.

Prisma work has been carried out in close consultation with a large number of selected good practice cases of eGovernment around Europe, and with experts working through service and thematic panels. An independent Advisory Panel has also monitoring the project over its total duration and provide regular feedback and advice.

A detailed description of Prisma's methodology is available in the publication Prisma Final Report. All Prisma Strategic Guidelines and other publications are available on this web-site.

I offer my sincere thanks to all Prisma partners and colleagues who have worked tirelessly and with great enthusiasm to make our collective work a success. Much appreciation is also extended to Stefanos Gouvras and Giuseppe Zilioli of the European Commission who have always been on hand with invaluable support and advice when needed.


The Prisma project aims to provide for the first time a systematic analysis and synthesis of current and future impacts of new information and communication technology (ICT) on government services in Europe. Within the context of eGovernment, six major service fields have been examined in detail.

eGoverment in 2010

The EU has attached enormous significance to the urgent realisation of the potential economic and social gains associated with the information society (European Commission 1994). In 2000 the European Commission started the eEurope initiative with the key objectives

  • Bringing every citizen, school, business and administration on-line;
  • Creating a digitally literate Europe, supported by an entrepreneurial culture ready to finance;
  • Ensuring that the whole process is socially inclusive builds consumer trust and strengthens social cohesion.

One of these main action to achieve these objectives is Government on-line which aims at ensuring that citizens have easy access to government information, services and decision-making procedures on-line. Strategy documents, programmes and measures to promote ICTs are to be found as well on supra-national, national and local levels of policies in probably all member states.

The inclusion of e-government and the administrative reform into the political agendas of most industrialised countries and the rapid diffusion of Internet use results into an increasing supply of electronic services offered by institutions of the government and administration.

eServices for People with Special Needs - a vision of 2010

The PRISMA project has reviewed current service provision for the elderly and disabled and has looked at the current trends that are taking place. Currently services are very piecemeal addressing specific aspects of the needs of the elderly and disabled. In the future e.g. in 10 years time, these services are likely to be larger more integrated system

eEnvironment in 2010

Throughout Europe, there is a growing awareness of environmental problems. The latest Eurobarometer survey on environmental awareness shows that the majority of Europeans worried more than five years earlier about the following issues:

  • Air, water and ground pollution
  • The destruction of the ozone layer
  • Global warming (greenhouse effect)
  • Disappearance of tropical forests
  • Use of genetically modified organisms like genetically modified corn in other food products
  • Nuclear power stations and radioactive waste processing
  • Using up natural resources throughout the world
  • Disappearance of plants, animal species and habitats
  • Urban problems (traffic, noise, pollution)

eTransport 2010 vision

The future of transport will have little resemblance to today's unintelligent, dirty and sometimes dangerous systems. Key characteristics of transport in 2010 will include the widespread adoption of smart cards, seamless multi-modal systems and intelligent information services. These characteristics will profoundly change the movement of people and goods.

The European Commission's White Paper for Transport* identifies serious imbalances in Europe's transport system including: increasing saturation of transport networks, an unbalanced distribution of traffic between the different modes of transport, regional imbalances, environmental damage, and dangerous roads.

To remedy these imbalances the vision guiding transport into the next ten years is one of sustainable mobility. The following key objectives have the greatest opportunity for the uptake of intelligent transport technologies:

  • The establishment of Trans-European Networks
  • The integration of transport systems
  • Protecting the environment
  • Safety

Intelligent Transport Systems are already in operation addressing these issues on land, water and air routes, and at passenger and freight terminals and depots.

eHealth in 2010

Contemporary developed nations are confronted with the problem of managing their health care systems to assure that patients receive appropriate care for their conditions. The critical objectives for the delivery of health services are quality, access and cost containment. This translates to an idealised objective of the consistent and reliable delivery of cost-effective health care, with benefits outweighing its risks. Such a system is faithful to the values of the society where the care really takes place and which is as responsive as possible to the individual needs and values of the care recipients.

The introduction of new information tools into the health care delivery system provides opportunities to move closer to this ideal goal. From the many possible information tools and applications that are in the health care pipeline, we have selected three developments in ICT that will have profound influences on the quality, access to care, and cost containment.

These are:

  • electronic patient dossiers
  • telemedicine
  • health informatics

Each of these three developments may also be viewed in terms of the cross-cutting themes of PRISMA.

eTourism Services in 2010

A view on some 10 years ahead to outline some key trends and future attributes of tourism services has been developed, based on a study of some key trends and drivers on the way towards ICT-supported tourism services. Developments further ahead into the future are difficult. To identify some likely future profiles of the tourism business and service provision up to 2010 are limited to a very rough outline at this stage