About Access to Base Registries

Improving national and cross-border access to government data

In order to provide quick and user-friendly public services to citizens and businesses, public administrations are trying to adopt customer-centric approaches and readjust their ways of working.

One way to achieve efficiency and increase user-friendliness is through the ‘once-only principle’. Instead of asking the citizen for information that they have already provided, public administrations will reuse the information they already have.

Much of this information is stored in authoritative databases called base registries, a trusted and authoritative source of information.

Base registries provide basic information on data items such as people, companies, vehicles, licences, buildings, locations and roads. 

As the information needed for operating European public services is owned and managed at the EU Member State level (or within an EU country), this action looks at whether and how the opening up of the registries – with the appropriate security and privacy measures – can help foster the establishment of European public services.

For such cooperation to take place, the interfaces between the registers need to be defined, published and harmonised at legal, organisational, semantic and technical levels.

The ISA action Access to Base Registries, sets out to assess the needs for a Framework for Base Registry Access, based on best practices and all the different activities associated with master data management.

What are the objectives?

Providing both national and cross-border access to the base registries of data held by EU countries, by defining a common framework that makes this possible.

What are the benefits?

more efficient and effective access to information across borders when establishing European public services

quicker and easier European public service establishment

reduced administrative burdens

What has been achieved so far?

Among the artefacts that have been achieved within this action, is an overview of reusable solutions from EU countries in order to facilitate the interconnection and access to base registries. Reusing solutions could make the development of base registries and interconnecting infrastructures faster and more cost-efficient.

A detailed analysis of the state-of-affairs in the all EU countries, as well as the EFTA countries has also been performed (Factsheets). The analysis has been carried out around four levels of the new European Interoperability Framework (EIF), i.e. legal, organisational, semantic and technical levels. The document also covered both the individual base registry level, as well as the interconnection level.

Another achievement is the exchange and promotion of best practices among EU countries that aim at speeding up the development and overcoming problems that are being faced by developers.

Lastly, guidelines have been developed with the aim to inspire public administrations to make their authentic sources of data more accessible and efficiently connected. The guidelines include recommendations and how-to on all interoperability aspects concerning base registries.

What are the next steps?

Create a base registry framework that 'describes the agreements and infrastructure for operating base registries and the relationships with other entities', as specified in the new version of the EIF. The framework will provide elements for public administrations to compare their state-of-affairs and maturity with a European model.

Owner/Contact Information

ISA² Programme of the European Commission
Supra-national authority


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