Balkan Services: European project SEED will popularize e-government services

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Bulgarian consultancy company Balkan Services is one of the 13 partners in recently started project SEED (Speeding Every European Digital). The project, which is partly financed through the Information and Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP), aims to increase citizens’ awareness of the existing services and content within e-government initiatives, as well as to facilitate access to electronic services offered by the public sector in the European Union.

The idea behind the project, which will last until 30 June, 2014, is to increase the positive results of the e-government initiatives in the EU and to encourage citizen-oriented service offerings by utilizing the public service information (PSI) that already exists.

This will happen through the usage of cloud technologies and a very cheap interactive public service advertising (i-PSA) network.

The project will be carried away by a consortium of 13 European partners from eight members of the EU – Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, The Czech Republic, Latvia, Malta, Romania, and Spain.

Within SEED several pilot projects will be executed in different European cities, for example, Varna, Bulgaria.

SEED is entirely targeted at citizens, especially the ones with low e-skills who are at risk of e-exclusion but are frequent users of public services in the same time. These people visit public places in order to get informed about things that are important for them, e. g. job search, taxes, or fees, without being aware of the new ways of providing better serving.

The equipment for the project will be installed at public places, like administrative buildings, hospitals, sports halls, parks, main streets, trade centers, etc., so that citizens can see useful and attractive messages. For example, people waiting at queues in municipal buildings in order to solve some problems will be informed by a number of interactive messages about how to avoid queues by using self-service kiosks in the same buildings. Elders, who do not have computers at home, will have the chance to be always well informed about the activities of their respective municipalities and other administrative offices that usually work with them. Other citizens, who use computers and have access to data but are jobless, can get informed about vacant jobs at local, regional, national, and even European level (via the EURES portal) while walking on the streets, for instance.

In the end, the aim of SEED will be to improve direct communication with citizens by showing them useful information while they do other things, like queuing or looking for the right information. The project is expected to be steady and to be later applied in other administrations, too.

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