The MAB project is about "Monitoring and Benchmarking" (MAB) of the so-called "eEurope+ 2003 Action Plan" in the EU Candidate Countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey). The project is carried out in the framework of the European Science and Technology Observatory (ESTO). It is funded by the ICT unit of the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) in Seville, Spain, which is part of the European Union's Joint Research Centre. The MAB project is led by ITAS, with TNO from the Netherlands as partner.
Background of the MAB project are the European Union's "eEurope 2002 Action Plan" and the "eEurope+ 2003 Action Plan" containing plans for similar actions in the Candidate Countries. The "eEurope 2002 Action Plan" was designed to contribute to the European Union's objective "to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion", as agreed at the European Council in 2000 ("Lisbon Summit"). The plan aims at bringing Europe closer to meeting these objectives and contains, for instance, actions for making Internet use cheaper, for educating people how to use the Internet and for encouraging citizens to use it at school, at home and at the workplace.
The "eEurope+ 2003 Action Plan" contains a number of modifications for adapting it to the situation of the Candidate Countries, e.g., actions on telecom liberalization and on the implementation of EU regulations.
The objectives of the MAB project were basically (1) to analyze the quality of data gathering and benchmarking activities in the current EU countries, and (2) to address the problems of gathering such data in the Candidate Countries. The methods used were essentially to analyze documents and to conduct expert interviews.