E-governance is about the use of information technology to raise the quality of the services governments deliver to citizens and businesses. It is hoped that it will also reinforce the connection between public officials and communities thereby leading to a stronger, more accountable and inclusive democracy.

The work of the Council of Europe in the field of e-governance was initiated under the leadership of the Integrated project “Making democratic institutions work” (2002-2004).

In February 2004, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted the terms of reference for the Ad Hoc Inter-Sectoral Group of Specialists on e-governance (IP1-S-EG) and on 15 December 2004 the Committee of Ministers adopted Recommendation Rec(2004)15 on electronic governance.

The Terms of Reference of the Ad hoc Committee on e-democracy (CAHDE) were based upon the Recommendation on e-governance.

At its third meeting in May 2008, CAHDE declared that, its mandate being based on key provisions of the Recommendation on e-governance, “the activities of CAHDE constitute a concrete and substantive follow-up action to Recommendation Rec(2004)15 ” and that “ a strong correlation exists between e-governance and e-democracy. E-Governance is based upon, and strongly linked to democratic values and practice. E-democracy, in turn, necessitates e-governance. Numerous concepts, policies and practices of e-democracy are equally applicable to e-governance. E-Governance concern the same institutions as e-democracy. ”

The Recommendation on e-democracy, which was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 18 February 2009, includes references to e-governance in line with, and building upon, the Recommendation on e-governance.

- E-governance recommendation (word version)
- E-governance recommendation (PDF – including Explanatory Memorandum)
- The work of the e-governance Committee