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Why are APIs policy relevant? | May 2022 BLSI Breakfast “When APIs meet Policymaking” Key takeaways

Why are APIs policy relevant? May 2022 Breakfast Key takeaways

Published on: 16/05/2022 News

On May 5, the Better Legislation for Smoother Implementation hosted a virtual breakfast on how the use of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) can help digital-ready policymaking.

During the webinar, the invited speakers, Monica Posada Sanchez and Katarzyna Pogorzelska from Joint Research Centre (JRC), talked about the role of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in data governance and digital coordination, based on the relevant study they conducted, while also presented their findings and what is there for policymakers.

Our takeaways from their speech are presented below, together with the presentation and the video recording.


Key Takeaways

Monica Posada Sanchez, Digital Economy Research fellow / Project Officer at Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission

  • Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are software components that connect subsystems and actors in digital environments. They enable flexible data access, data sharing, the control and the coordination of digital interactions happening through them.
  • API acts as a connector, by enabling data sharing and data access, as a boundary, since it defines what can be accessed, how, by whom, and under which conditions, and finally as a tool, which is connecting nodes digital ecosystems, as it integrates internal and external actors and data value chains.
  • As an Ecosystem facilitation, APIs add flexibility to data sharing and access, fostering innovation.
  • As a Data Value Distribution, APIs can control and monitor digital supply and demand, leading to fair value distribution.
  • As a Digital Governance, APIs improve regulatory reporting, by adding more flexibility and re-use the access of relevant data for decision makers in timely fashion, heading towards to a better governance and better data readiness.
  • There are 3 Pillars APIs for Public Sector Innovation. The Technical one, which contains API management, Discoverability and Security, the Legal, and the Organizational, which includes the Legal Framework, and the Interoperability respectively.
  • The API individual organization perspective includes API management, Discoverability, and Security.
  • Discoverability constitutes an important aspect for interoperability, since it is crucial for  making the interface understandable and easily consumable by other actors.
  • A system is very vulnerable, so importance is required to be given at every single API that is added to work.
  • Regarding the Systemic perspective, it is consisting of legal and organizational coordination, which involves the legal framework and the conceptualization of API applicable legal framework, the organizational emerging practices, and the legal and organizational coordination in Practice (ToS analysis).


Katarzyna Pogorzelska, Digital Economy Research fellow / Project Officer at Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission

  • The study has given a significant overview of the legal issues that may appear in the context of the deployment of API infrastructure.
  • The main idea focuses on combining an API function and the stakeholder’s role to explore the scope of the activity and therefore the applicable legal framework. It has been concluded to four main roles that could be combined, the data holder, the API developer, the API service provider and the Ecosystem orchestrator.
  • Every single of those perspectives means different roles, different obligations.
  • Apart from the rules and limitations coming from data sharing regime, the data holder has to make sure that data is shared in a lawful and secure way.
  • One needs to be aware of the fact that the limitations on data are propagated down the value chain.


Presentations and recording

Scroll down to download the webinar key takeaways summary and the speakers’ presentation. 

Click here to watch the recording of the session. 


Next steps

The session gave our LIOP team a lot of food for thought to design our future activities. Become a member of our community and share your ideas and propositions for the next BLSI sessions in the comments!

We look forward to seeing you in our next virtual breakfast sessions!

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