Enabling Environment for Software Engineering Industry: A Strategic Framework of eSEE eAgenda 2002 and eSEE eAgenda+ 2007

Zlatan Šabić, M.Sc., Ph.D. Candidate
University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, and eGovernment Specialist, UNDP BiH +387 33 447 559

Tarik Zaimović, M.A.
University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Economics, and eGovernance and ICT Portfolio Manager, UNDP BiH, +387 33 563 848

Nera Nazečić, M.A. Candidate
Programme Manager of eLeadership Programme for the Western Balkans, and Head of eSEE Secretariat, UNDP BiH +387 33 563 836

zsabic@etf.unsa.ba Timur Gadžo B.Sc. E.E.
Head of Department for Informatization, Ministry of Communications and Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and eEnvoy of Bosnia and Herzegovina to eSEE Initiative +387 33 254 376

tarik.zaimovic@efsa.unsa.ba

nnazecic@undp.ba

Merima Avdagić, M.Sc.
The eGovernment Project Manager, UNDP BiH, +387 33 563 850

mavdagic@undp.ba

gtimur@gmail.com ABSTRACT
Modern technologies have the tremendous capacity to unleash the potential of the South Eastern Europe (SEE) countries, and to help increase their economic growth and foster their integration in world market. This paper is set forth to analyze the policy impact of “eSEE Agenda for the Development of the Information Society” (eSEE Agenda), as a regional action plan for Information Society development in SEE region implemented from 2002 to 2007, including the policy impact to development of national software engineering industries. As several reviews and reports from recent South Eastern Europe Ministerial Conference on Information Society Development (Sarajevo, October 2007) indicate, the initial Agenda's aims have in good measure been attained. Development of an enabling framework is largely complete, new ICT infrastructure is being introduced in government departments and public institutions, a very wide range of e-services for the public and business are either already operational or close to becoming so. Recognition of this fact by the members of the Initiative has led to an extension of the initiative, with the agreement of a second phase, “eSEE Agenda Plus for the Development of Information Society in South Eastern Europe 2007-2012”, signed in Sarajevo on 29 October 2007 at the South Eastern Europe Ministerial Conference on Information Society Development. This paper will also look into current trends and perspectives articulated in the second generation of Initiative activities and the Action Plan of the Taskforce for Broadband, and their implications for Information Society development in South Eastern Europe as the basic software engineering development environment.

Categories and Subject Descriptors
K.5.2 [Legal Aspects of Computing: Governmental Issues]: Regulation; K.4.1 [Computing Milieux: Computers and Society: Public Policy Issues]: Regulation; K.1 [Computing Milieux: The Computer Industry]: Markets, Standards; D.2.0 [Software Engineering: General]: Standards

General Terms
Management, Economics, Standardization, Legal Aspects.

Keywords
policy, South Eastern Europe, SEE, eSEE, information society, environment, software engineering, industry, strategic framework, eAgenda

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1. INTRODUCTION
As the political and economic map of European Union is redrawn through enlargements, Western Balkan countries risk being left on the margins of the new and integrated Europe and becoming an

economically peripheral region. The eSEE1 Initiative expresses the strategic effort of the Western Balkans to jointly employ Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as a vehicle for economic growth, employment rise, EU integration and longterm stability of the region thus preventing the risk of uncoordinated and incoherent approaches to ICT. The eSEE Initiative provides a balanced policy and cooperation framework and provides one of the best examples of regional cooperation in the Stability Pact practice. Both the UNDP and the Stability Pact have supported the eSEE initiative since its inception under the Pact's Working Table II (Economy). Since its creation in 2002, the eSEE Secretariat has been hosted by the UNDP Country Office for Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. The eSEE Secretariat is an executive arm of the eSEE Initiative, which is playing pivotal role in implementation of the Initiative objectives, and also acts as a focal point for visibility of the Initiative. By participating in eSEE Initiative, its members acknowledged the importance of strengthening the regional approach towards the development of the Information Society, with the aim of avoiding the adoption of ad hoc solutions and technologies that lead to inconsistent development, incompatibility between national and local systems, and thus delay progress and implementation. By recently adopting the eSEE Agenda+ [1], which is closely aligned with the i2010 [2], a European Information Society for Growth and Employment Action Plan and other globally recognized approaches, the region expressed their determination to introduce compatible, innovative and interoperable technologies and systems and integrated and interconnected networks, with the ultimate aim of transforming the South Eastern Europe into prosperous, modern and stable region that can compete more effectively in the global market economy. As a complementary process, eSEE Initiative is currently also supporting the work of the Taskforce for Broadband in implementation of bSEE Action Plan, and their efforts to support the SEE participants in promotion of coordinated broadband development, including the creation of domestic Broadband Strategies, aggregating demand and local content, highlighting the importance of broadband development, raising funds for broadband activities and ultimately lowering the cost of broadband services in the region. eSEE Initiative processes will be additionally strengthened by the upcoming UNDP led eLeadership Programme for the Western Balkans. It will be implemented in cooperation with the eSEE participants through eSEE Initiative Secretariat, UNDP and the Italian Government, with the aim of strengthening intra-regional and international cooperation in South Eastern Europe by encouraging and supporting collaborative actions in Information Society Technologies, especially in e-Governance and eDemocracy.

Recent efforts that culminated in the signing of the MoU on joint cooperation towards the creation of Center for eGovernance (CeGD) in Slovenia, is another example of successful eSEE led regional cooperation. CeGD will be a valuable instrument in training and advising leaders and stakeholders in the use of ICT to increase government efficiency and to improve democratic processes and thus to build open information societies, increase transparency, reduce corruption and minimize the digital divide in South East Europe and the member states of the EU and the rest of the world. Future work of eSEE Initiative shall build on domestic and regional actions, with the connection to European policies and practice, with participation of the signatories represented through their Appointed Senior Policy Officials, under overall guidance of the eSEE Initiative Chair, and the support of UNDP funded eSEE Secretariat. As of this year, the successor to the Stability Pact, the Regional Cooperation Council, will also be based in Sarajevo. eSEE Initiative is planning to capitalize on continued strong engagement on the part of the Regional Cooperation Council and its Secretary General in furthering the cause of joint ICT agenda and the promotion of the Information Society and the Knowledge Economy in South Eastern Europe. This paper analyses the impact of eSEE Agenda, Regional Action Plan for Information Society Development in South Eastern Europe [3], adopted in 2002 by eSEE Initiative members. It also looks into current trends and perspectives articulated in the second generation of Initiative activities, and their implications for Information Society development in South Eastern Europe as the basic software engineering development environment.

2. eSEE AGENDA 2002
Mainstreaming ICT in the national development programs and segments of society such as governance, education, business, and health is becoming increasingly more important for the SEE countries, as the region is moving towards EU integration process. Owing to the eSEE Initiative, for the past several years, SEE countries were fully focused on implementation of the commitments accepted in 2002 within “eSEE Agenda for the Development of the Information Society” (eSEE Agenda) as a basic document for IT development activities in SEE region. By signing eSEE Agenda, SEE countries agreed to adopt it as their principle vehicle for planning, coordinating, and implementing the development of an Information Society in South Eastern Europe generally and in each of the co-operating countries/areas separately. This was followed by the Memorandum of Understanding on a Taskforce for Broadband, signed at the Ministerial Conference at Thessaloniki [3] with a view to the implementation of the bSEE Action Plan. It includes Greece and Romania as new members. Through this process, the eSEE member countries also associated themselves unilaterally with the objectives of the EU’s eEurope and eEurope+ processes and agreed specific actions within the constraints of their specific environment in the fields of: 1. Adoption of policy and strategy for the Information Society;

1

eSEE Initiative members are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and UNMIK/Kosovo. Romania and Greece are participants in the bSEE Taskforce, while Romania has recently joined the eSEE Initiative formally by signing the eSEE Agenda Plus.

2.

Adoption and implementation of Legal Infrastructure for Information Society accordingly to Acquis Communitaire settled within European Union countries; Establishment of regional cooperation and national implementation mechanisms; Promotion of Information Society for development.

3. 4.

focus on the area of telecommunications, e-commerce, esignature, law on cyber-crime and personal data protection. In addition, important web based applications and a number of information systems for civil and document registry, custom and border service are in the process of implementation, or have been successfully implemented. This status of implementation of eSEE Agenda is recorded in the matrices prepared by eSEE Secretariat. Long version of the matrix is of a descriptive nature and it involves mostly qualitative data, focusing on the very process of implementation, while short version of the matrix is focusing solely on quantifiable data. Matrices have proven a useful internal benchmarking tool of the eSEE Initiative and are issued every two months by Secretariat of the Initiative in cooperation with the Appointed Government Officials. An overall conclusion that can be drawn from analyzing the matrices is that the group is bringing the implementation of the last few items of eSEE Agenda to the close. The first of the two Agenda’s major commitments related to the creation of national ICT for development policy as well as the institutional and legal mechanisms required for an information society have been implemented widely across the region. As the matrices indicate, these National Information Society Policies and National Information Society Strategies and Action Plans are now largely in place across the region, as are the planned programmes of putting in place the enabling legislation on topics such as electronic communications infrastructure, e-commerce, econtracts, and e-signatures. After nearly seven years of achievement, eSEE is widely recognized to be a good example of regional co-operation. However, while the results showcased in this matrix demonstrate the easily quantifiable data, there are several items that could not be seen from the enclosed short matrix, because of its quantitative rather than qualitative perspective. Therefore, what can not be seen is that new ICT infrastructure is being introduced in the widest possible range of government departments and public institutions. In addition, a very wide range of e-services for the public and business are either already operational or close to becoming so. A number of national information systems were implemented such Civil Registry and Residence, Document Registry for ID Cards and Driving License, Passport Document and Vehicle Registries, Police, Customs information systems and Integrated Border Management system. Besides giving a factual status of eSEE Agenda implementation, for practical reasons, the matrix leaves out that many of the countries of the region have indeed adopted cutting edge national ICT development policies and legislation, designed and implemented a range of innovative eGovernance initiatives, and public administration reform programme, while many have introduced the compatible, interoperable and interconnected networks, technologies and systems, with the ultimate aim of transforming the SEE into stable, progressive and booming region that can compete in the global market economy.

By adopting eSEE Agenda, the region of South East Europe has embarked on a broad strategy to promote the development of the Information Society. The countries of the region have made considerable progress on the tasks contained in the original eSEE Agenda agreed in 2002. They have established a regional framework and put in place compatible national ICT development policies and legislation, while designing and implementing a range of exciting and inventive ICT, eGovernance, and public administration reform projects in all areas of government.

3. eSEE AGENDA IMPACT 3.1 Implementation Progress 2002-2007
Related to implementation of eSEE Agenda commitments, rather than adopt a one-size-fits-all approach, the eSEE focus has been on finding solutions which respect each country's different needs and level of development, while preparing them all, individually and together, for integration with the EU framework. Particular attention has been paid to developing (i) the enabling Policy Framework, (ii) proper Institutional Framework, and (iii) the adequate Legislative Framework for each country to ensure appropriate and sustainable ICT development, with full and appropriate harmonization with EU law and regulations. The eSEE Initiative aims to promote the best possible fit between the countries of the region and the EU's own answer to the challenge of ICT, eEurope+, the Lisbon Strategy, and the associated eEurope2002 initiative (with its later continuations eEurope2005, and i2010). The Agenda has, therefore, a dual aspect, with a regional dimension acting as the framework for coordinated and mutually reinforcing activities at the national level. The first two of the Agenda's four major commitments are related to the creation of this regional framework and of national guidelines for ICT for development policy [4] as well as the institutional and legal mechanisms required for an information society. These National Information Society Policies and National Information Society Strategies and Action Plans are now largely in place across the region, as are the planned programmes of legislation on topics such as electronic communications infrastructure, e-commerce, e-contracts, and e-signatures. It is interesting to note that in mid 2004 only Albania, Croatia and Montenegro had formally adopted national ICT strategies, and Croatia was the only initiative member that had adopted almost all key laws related to information society development [5]. Today’s situation is quite the opposite. The complete overview of 2007 status of eSEE Agenda commitments is provided in an annex to this paper. As we can see, despite different starting points and country specific dynamics of each member state, all the countries of the region have so far formulated and adopted National ICT Strategies and nearly all have formed State Cabinet Level Bodies responsible for their implementation. Legislation reform process is taking place in synchronized manner in all eSEE member states, with the main

3.2 Essential Impact of eSEE Agenda
As explicitly stated in the official final review of the eSEE Agenda’s policy impact [6], the eSEE Agenda, in addition to providing a policy and regional cooperation framework to IS development, has inspired and supported significant changes in

IS development affairs within the signatory countries. The Agenda provided unique development framework that was explored and used to different extents depending on specific situation in initiative members. In some cases, such as in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Agenda was true enabler of strategic planning processes that finally lead to formulation and adoption of state level ICT policy, strategy and action plan, in situation where very few political and other factors were in favor of such development. The eSEE Agenda supported the task of developing and adopting strategies and action plans. Significantly, however, this support influenced the process towards an open and participatory approach in several countries, including in Albania, BiH, Macedonia, Moldova and Serbia. Working group of national experts from different sectors (including government, private sector, academia and civil society) were formed, with the support of UNDP national offices, and were entrusted with the task of drafting the national strategy and action plan. Members of these working groups were drawn from the most qualified and experienced people in the country. The open process led to a high level of acceptance and ownership towards the strategy document from the public, private and civil society sector, and also enhanced the strategic value of this activity. Also, the strategy formulation process initially inspired by commitments under eSEE Agenda gained momentum of its own to create home-grown policies and strategies (for example, in Moldova, it led to creation of an additional strategy on EGovernance and public administration reform, in BiH it led to involvement of IT in Public Administration Reform Strategy endorsed in September 2006, in Croatia, National Programme on Information Security and the One Stop Shop Strategy (HITRO.HR) were created etc.). Creation and reorganization of institutions for the IS in most of the involved countries was a direct impact of eSEE Agenda. In some countries, such as Croatia, a similar scenario related to institutional development would most probably happen regardless of the Agenda commitments (for example, Government Office for Internet Infrastructure Development was established in November 2000 as a cabinet level body responsible for development of information society), but those commitments influenced the outcome, to differing extents, in all countries, including Croatia. On the other hand, there are examples where the creation of some bodies was a direct impact of eSEE Agenda (for example, in Macedonia, the IT department within the General Secretariat of the government). However, several challenges face the development of IT capacities in public administration in many of the eSEE countries. Some relate to the need for better physical infrastructure, a prerequisite to technically demanding information systems covering several institutions; others to the presence of the institutional capacity to develop, update and maintain such systems, while in Bosnia and Herzegovina the establishment of state level agency for information society is still delayed due to complex political configuration of the country. The eSEE Agenda has enhanced the pace of policy development, especially within the legal framework of IS development. It created awareness among policymakers on relevant laws and their

role in promoting IS development. In Serbia, laws on electronic signatures and on free access to public information were adopted after the eSEE Agenda. Similarly in Montenegro it led to the adoption of the law on electronic commerce and electronic signature. In Croatia the Law on Digital Documents was inspired by the eSEE Agenda, as most of their other laws (as per the eSEE requirements) were either already adopted, or were in drafting stage. The eSEE Agenda has indirectly provided a framework for the consolidation of ICT related activities taken up by other international organizations. As a consequence, the scope for partnership has expanded under the umbrella approach to IS development of the eSEE, and to which different agencies now align their ICT-related activities. For instance, in the province of Kosovo, UNDP Kosovo, the Kosovo Fund for Open Society (KFOS), the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Regione Lazio have come together to fund the wiring of local government and e-governance projects in 19 municipalities. In Macedonia and Serbia, UNDP and the Open Society are together supporting the development of national IS strategy through their respective programmes. In addition, the work of eSEEurope Working Group has benefited by the participation of South-eastern Europe Telecommunications & Informatics Research Institute – INA and South Eastern Europe Telecommunications Academy (SETA – INA Academy). Considerable assistance was provided in terms of technical expertise in drafting the National Information Society 2 Policies (NISP – eSEE Guidelines) . On the other hand, significant challenges still remain. Many of the countries of the region have been in extended transition to a market economy and all have been affected by a significant development gap. All the countries are at different stages of IS development. While some are facing the challenge of dealing with obsolete, inappropriate, or seriously damaged infrastructure, others are facing a lack of appropriate institutional capacity. Legislative and structural frameworks are not fully completed, with resources (human, financial, etc.) often insufficient to carry through ambitious reforms. Exchange of experiences and knowledge in this area is an essential part of this process. Moreover, SEE countries share common problems in this area such us capital shortage, hardware and software shortage, underdeveloped telecommunication infrastructures and telecommunication market monopolies, low public awareness, need for improvement in digital literacy and skills by businesses, organizations and consumers, necessity for organizational transformation and national economy reconstruction, need to follow social and cultural implications of new economy. It would therefore be difficult to overstress the importance of the regional approach. For only a coherent region with seamless integration of major infrastructural and economic systems has any chance of successful interface with an increasingly unitary European system.

INA has assisted eSEE and in other major activities as benchmarking ICT and training. It also acted as a liaison to the private sector and to similar initiatives as ITU Centers of Excellence. INA Academy supported the group with the provision of specialized training for the countries.

2

3.3 Impact to National Software Engineering Industries
The issue of ICT industry development, especially software engineering industry is related to overall information society development. According to the experiences from many countries, it is much more efficient and quicker to develop many attributes of information society with parallel development of own ICT industry, as a separate production line of the total economy of a country, than to develop the IS with someone else’s ICT industry. There are several benefits of this approach, in the social and economic sense. The society will have its own development and research, which provides the foundation of permanent development and advancement of the society and economy in future. Without the development of the software engineering industry, the society would be destined to permanent dependence and hindrance of development. Despite pessimistic indicators with respect to the SEE economy, the ICT industry is actually developing and spreading within the region – it is one of the drivers of the economic growth. The reason behind that lies in the fact that the ICT is not limited to only developed countries; instead, it represents global interest and the interests of all in particular. Governments of almost all countries within the region are trying to design or have designed effective policies to facilitate the use of ICT with the aim of stimulating the economic growth. The ICT industry is growing within the region. For example, the IT market in Macedonia has increased from 37 million USD in 2000 to more than 50 million USD in 2003. In Croatia, even though the number of ICT companies has not significantly increased between 1994 and 2002 (15.76%), the gross income of these companies has increased by 300%. In addition, the segmentation is changing. Hardware sales still dominate, but software development and services are taking larger share of market (examples: Macedonia – software application share increased from 15% in 2000 to 36% in 2003; Moldova - the average growth of sales in software industry during the period 2001–2003 was 50%, BiH software development share in 2005 was 67.5%). By looking particularly at BiH the “eReadiness Assessment Report for 2005”, around 2.600 companies in BiH are registered business in ICT industry [7]. Compared with the same study for 2003 the number of registered ICT companies grew tenfold. Moving to more macro perspective, according to the IDC [8] the IT spending in some of the SEE countries in 2006 have been rather respectable (Croatia 25%, Serbia 13% and Romania 36%), and respectfully GDP IT revenue share has also followed as much as 5.6% in Serbia. However, it seems that governments do not always recognize these potentials. There are resources (factories, companies) that have potential, but without serious governmental stimulation, that potential cannot be developed. Governments are very often without managerial resources and available, updated and accurate data. The eSEE Agenda and related national strategies have addressed this issue well, and ICT industry, including software engineering is treated as one of development priorities. As typical example,

the Bosnia and Herzegovina national Policy for IS development, for the first time in any sectoral policy, explicitly states that “development of information and communications technologies industry (software engineering, hardware, consultancy)” is one of the IS development goals related also to overall economic development strategies. It also states that “information society development will be followed by the industrialization in the area of ICT, especially in the software industry segment” [9]. This has raised the awareness that software engineering industry of all SEE countries are looking for help to increase the ability of local companies to participate in the production and delivery of software for domestic and export needs, resulting in various governmental measures towards creation of environment suitable for the ICT industry development.

4. NEW DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK OF eSEE AGENDA+ 4.1 eSEE Agenda+ Fact Sheet
The eSEE Initiative Working Group made a commitment in 2006 that a further stage of the eSEE Agenda should be articulated and agreed. Having an obligation to provide and implement government services and to create and support environment for other electronic services of the information society, the governments of the region also felt that the time had arrived to define and pursue a new set of goals that will jointly employ ICT as tools for economic growth, job creation, EU integration, and to underpin long-term stability in the region. Drafting of the new document appropriately named “eSEE Agenda Plus for the Development of Information Society in South Eastern Europe 2007- 2012” and commonly referred to as “eSEE Agenda+” started in April 2006 under the guidance of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The adjustments were completed in the same year. The signing ceremony took place in Sarajevo on 29th of October 2007 at the “South Eastern Europe Ministerial Conference on Information Society Development”. In eSEE Agenda+, the Governments of the countries of SEE and 3 The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo stated that they were firmly resolved to pursue the priorities and objectives defined by the document and would look to the eSEE Working Group to ensure and monitor, within its responsibilities, their fulfillment, as a major step to a joint effort for building Information Society in South Eastern Europe. The signatories endorsed the following strategic framework, in order to encourage the development of information society in eSEE Initiative member countries and The United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo during the period 2007-2012: • they accepted the “i2010 – A European Information Society (IS) for growth and employment” as general framework for IS development in the region; they associated themselves with the priorities defined in “i2010” framework, but within the specific environment of SEE region, and therefore rephrasing the defined

3

On behalf of Kosovo in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)

priorities for IS development policies into the region specific priorities: 1. Further development of a Single SEE space which promotes an open and internal market for Information Society moving it toward a common European Space in terms of interoperability; information competitive and media, Information

Different starting points of signatory countries, as well as fluctuating level of political commitment and resources available between countries, will most likely influence the final outcome of this action plan. However, having a regional master plan for information society development provides the common ground and thread of continuity in the light of the ever changing and politically unstable environment of SEE. Signing of the eSEE Agenda raised the strategic importance of information society development activities at the national level in terms of the increase in level of awareness, commitment and communication on IT issues. The visible public impact is achieved by implementing eGovernment services and eventually creating the One Stop Shop strategy. Access to technology, e-Participation, and e-Democracy will lead to a cultural and social change. This will be facilitated by more affordable broadband networks and secure services. The knowledge building and resulting economic impacts are achieved through fostering the development of e-Business and ICT research. The eAgenda+ also envisages development of ICT private-sector to be a part of key strategic development document of any of the respectful country. This was a case in the timeframe of eAgenda and as a result the ICT industry representatives and associations where key stakeholder and player in both development and implementation of different country strategies (for example in BiH Development Strategy, EU Accession Programme/Strategy and Public Administration Reform Strategy). Also, continuous work within the sector, e.g. regular meetings with government and participation in different government commission, provides to ICT industry a way for direct participation and influence over upcoming government policies, laws, initiatives, etc. and thus should directly help develop software engineering as a fundamental part of any ICT industry in the region. The document itself contains solid foundations for the regional cooperation and projects with the common benefits. We can anticipate concrete regional coordination, collaboration and interactions, as well as promotion of the optimal practices and exchange of know-how. This can lead further to the interconnection to similar international initiatives. In the process of implementation of eSEE Agenda+, the participants consented to make provisions for collaborative actions and build strong partnership with the EU, encouraging the institutions, businesses, and authorities to learn from their experiences. The reforms are supposed to be implemented within the framework of harmonization with Acquis Communautaire with respect to all the respective commitments and obligations of the participants with the EU. Opting to follow European programs and practice before accessing to EU, the signatories are sending a strong signal for readiness towards EU compliance. Aiming to improve regional cooperation, the participants shall build domestic and regional capacities to link professionals, business, and institutions across the region and EU. Creating a single information space is facilitated by following European practice, interoperability and harmonization of rules.

2. Strengthening Innovation and investment in ICT research and education while working with the private sector to promote growth and more and better jobs; 3. Achieving an Inclusive Information Society that promotes growth and jobs in a manner that is consistent with sustainable development and that prioritizes better public services and quality of life. While the i2010 initiative aims primarily to create growth and jobs in Europe's Information Society, the real driver of growth is demand for services. It is based on consumers’ interest in the benefits of the technology: communication, entertainment, and high quality services. Those services are somewhat different from the region specific priorities, taking into account the previous developments in the European Union, which influenced the list of priorities as a development framework for IS development. While not including, for instance, some high definition audio visual services, eSEE Agenda+ defines a range of services, apposite to the regional environment, including broadband communications, online content, interoperability, harmonization, ICT skills improvement, research, services for citizens and services for business. Within the defined priorities, grouped into three priority areas, the signatories devoted themselves to accomplishing the detailed and measurable list of objectives, within the concrete deadlines. In order to secure continuous implementation of the objectives of eSEE Agenda+, the participants shall carry on annual domestic benchmarking of an agreed subset of indicators used by EU for the i2010 initiative. Implementation of the eSEE Agenda+ priority areas shall be facilitated through the platform provided by the eSEE Initiative Working Group, under the emerging cooperation framework, the Regional Cooperation Council based in Sarajevo.

4.2 eSEE Agenda+ Expectations
The eSEE Agenda+ expected impacts can be summarized as following: • • • national development regional cooperation EU complying

The central goal of those participating in the eSEE Agenda+, similar to the eSEE Agenda, including most of those active at the national level, is to give a significant boost to the development of the Information Society in their respective countries, and to prolong a momentum of regional cooperation that will also be sustained into the future.

The eSEE Agenda+ has a prospect to generate ample momentum and fully enthuse policy makers and implementation entities more widely by the ability to effectively coordinate across ministries, to reach out and enable the effective participation of other nongovernmental stakeholders.

6. REFERENCES
[1] “eSEE Agenda + for the Development of Information Society in SEE 2007-2012”, Sarajevo, October 2007 (http://www.eseeinitiative.org) [2] “i2010 – A European Information Society for growth and employment”, Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Brussels, 6 January 2005 [3] “eSEE Agenda, Regional Action Plan for Information Society Development in South Eastern Europe”, Belgrade, October 2002. (http://www.eseeinitiative.org) [4] “National Information Society Policies: eSEEurope Initiative Common Guidelines”, UNDP Regional Service Centre, Bratislava, November 2003 [5] “eSEEurope Regional ICT Sector Status and Usage Report: Building an Information Society for All”, UNDP and Stability Pact for SEE eSEEurope Initiative, 2004 [6] “The eSEE Initiative: Review of the eSEE Agenda’s Policy Impact in the area of Information Society in SEE”, The Final Report, UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre, 2006 [7] “eReadiness Assessment Report 2005”, UNDP BiH, 2006. [8] “Comparative Overview of the Overall and Governmental IT Spending in SEE countries”, IDC Adriatics, 2007 [9] “Policy for IS development in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, Council of ministers of BiH, 2004.

5. CONCLUSIONS
As several reviews and reports from recent South Eastern Europe Ministerial Conference on Information Society Development (Sarajevo, October 2007) indicate, the initial Agenda's aims have in good measure been attained. Not merely is the development of an enabling framework largely complete, but new ICT infrastructure is being introduced in the widest possible range of government departments and public institutions. In addition, a very wide range of e-services for the public and business are either already operational or close to becoming so. For the first time, the national sectoral policies and strategies put the ICT industry, including software engineering, into the position of one of the information society and overall economic development priorities. eSEE Agenda has raised the awareness that software engineering industries of all SEE countries are looking for supportive governmental measures to increase the ability of local companies to participate in the production and delivery of software for domestic and export needs. Implementing eSEE Agenda+ objectives will further raise information society awareness and lead to the concrete activities throughout the whole government and further on amongst the other stakeholders, citizens, and businesses. Software engineering will be stirred even more with eSEE Agenda+ than from eSEE Agenda, due to the fact that priorities and focus groups are very diverse, still heavily relying on ICT industry support for achieving its outcomes.

ANNEX: Overview of the Status of eSEE Agenda Commitments
eSEE Agenda commitment Adoption of Strategies for IS Development on the basis of the common guidelines prepared by the eSEE WG Cabinet Level Bodies for the development of IS in line with ToR prepared by the eSEE WG ADOPTED (Y/N) DATE OF ADOPTION ESTABLISHED DATE OF ESTABLISHMENT Signatories of eSEE Agenda Albania YES 10 April 2003 YES-NO Inter ministerial committee formed in May 2005.National Agency for IS YES-NO It is approved by CoM not Yet in Parliament. NO BIH YES 16 November 2004 NO In the procedure Croatia YES January 2002 YES December 2003 FYROM YES 16 June 2005 YES-NO CIT fotmed in 2002, Competencies co shared with Min. of transport and communications YES- NO 25 April 2005- still needs legal acts NO The Law will be adopted during 2007 Information not available Moldova YES 9 March 2005 YES Montenegro YES 17 June 2004 YES-NO Secretariat for Development – IT Department YES 24 September 2003 Serbia YES 9 October 2006 YES Ministry for Telecommunication s and Information Society, May 2007 YES By-laws updated in November 2007. CA establishment in procedure NO Public discussion under way YES Based on Article 6 of The Law on IS, published in Public Office Journal 12/96 NO UNMIK-Kosovo YES 26 April 2006 YES-NO The Cabinet Level Body for IS will be established by 15 December. YES July 2005

June 2001

ESTABLISHED Legal framework on eSignature DATE OF ESTABLISHMENT ADOPTED (Y/N) DATE OF ADOPTION ADOPTED (Y/N) Law on Electronic Documents DATE OF ADOPTION

YES September 2006 YES November 2007

YES January 2002 YES October 2003 YES December 2005

YES 15 July 2004

Legal framework on eCommerce

YES 22 July 2004 YES

YES 24 December 2004 YES

YES July 2005 YES Covered by the Law on Information services YES

NO It is approved by the CoM. It is not approved in parliament YES

NO

15 July 2004 YES-NO signed but not ratified The internal legal framework was adjusted. A separate law on cybercrime is under elaboration. YES June 2004, electronic comm law adopted in February 2005 YES January 2005 YES November 2007 YES 15 February 2007

26.Decembar 2007

RATIFIED (Y/N)

YES

YES

YES

NO

Law on Cybercrime DATE OF ADOPTION

Convention was signed in March 2006 YES-NO Approved by CoM, not yet in Parliament NO YES November 2002 YES 2001

November 2001

Sanctions against Cyber crime articulated in Chapter 28 as part of the Penal Code endorsed in 2003 YES New Law is currently being prepared NO Law proposal is in the phase of pre-adoption by Government

National Laws adopted April 2005

31 August 2006

ADOPTED (Y/N) Law on Telecommunications DATE OF ADOPTION ADOPTED (Y/N) Law on Personal Data Protection DATE OF ADOPTION

YES July 2003 YES June 2003

YES March 2003 YES-NO Draft version adopted by Government in January 2008.

YES May 2003 YES July 2005

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