The European Commission created Joinup to provide a common venue that enables public administrations, businesses and citizens to share and reuse IT solutions and good practices, and facilitate communication and collaboration on IT projects across Europe.
Joinup is the European Commission's one-stop shop for interoperable, open and free digital government ICT solutions, and an online space for e-Government professionals and enthusiasts to share and learn about digital public services and initiatives.
From 2021 Joinup is the home to Interoperable Europe, the European Commission’s initiative for a reinforced interoperability policy showcasing news and events about government-related interoperability, along with initiatives and best practices that support the digitalisation of EU public administrations. Joinup covers the hands-on aspects of interoperability, while Interoperable Europe the policy angle.
Joinup was launched on 9 December 2011. The platform in 2013 was merged with OSOR.eu (now OSOR) and Semic.eu (now SEMIC) by combining their services for open source and semantic interoperability. By 2014, a third major platform, also developed by the European Commission, the ePractice.eu, was integrated as well, to bring together policy makers and practitioners in the fields of eGovernment, eHealth and eInclusion.
For an online platform, this is a considerable time span and a testimony to its endurance. Throughout this period, Joinup has withstood the transition between two major European Commission programmes, the ISA and ISA², and has successfully reserved a crucial place in the latest one, the Digital Europe Programme (DIGITAL). A proof of the platform’s perseverance and importance to Europe’s public sector digital future.
Joinup’s new vision aims to go beyond a platform that acts mainly as an online repository of ICT interoperability solutions. The goal is for Joinup to become a one-stop shop and online meeting place for digital initiatives and e-Government enthusiasts, catering for the full lifecycle of actions that target digital transformation in the public sector. Joinup’s vision statement is:
We make Digital European Public Services a reality.
The vision introduces the concept of hubs, with each hub supporting specific activities of the digital transformation process:
- Digital policy hub: A space to interact, stay informed, research and plan digital initiatives. Containing digital government policy references, Declarations monitoring, Member States’ digital factsheets and guidelines, open source policies and studies etc.
- Interoperability solutions hub: A space to choose the right solutions to make digital initiatives a reality. Providing access to open source technical solutions from various sources such as the European Commission (i.e. Common Services Platform), Members States, academia, businesses, and external repositories.
- Digital government in practice hub: A space to showcase digital initiatives and pilots that have been put into practice. Fostering communities of practice, promoting tools and actions that support digital government (i.e. EIF Toolbox, Joinup Licensing Assistant, Interoperable Europe Academy etc.).
This vision attempts to reaffirm, enhance and secure Joinup as a valid platform for managing the complete lifecycle of digital transformation activities.
Joinup provides a collaborative meeting place for communities (currently called collections) to share and (re)use interoperability solutions and exchange digital transformation information, knowledge, studies and use cases. Thanks to Interoperable Europe, the platform also promotes initiatives that support the digitalisation of EU public administrations, and showcases news, events and best practices related to interoperability and cross-border collaboration.
Joinup has a long history of being the home to many long-standing e-Government-related communities such as the Open Source Observatory (OSOR), the Semantic Interoperability Community (SEMIC) and ePractice, as well as to newer communities such as the National Interoperability Framework Observatory (NIFO), the European Interoperability Reference Architecture (EIRA), Digital Skills in the Public Sector, and Better legislation for smoother implementation among others.
Have a look around, choose your communities of interest and start interacting by becoming a member!
The Joinup platform offers unique tools to assist e-Government professionals and Public Administrations cope with digitalisation challenges, such as licensing their software, and aligning with the European Interoperability Framework (EIF).
The Joinup platform offers a unique tool for handling open source licences. The Joinup Licensing Assistant (JLA) enables copyright owners identify licences for distributing their software or data, offers categorisation with direct links to each licence's SPDX (Software Package Data Exchange) entry, and allows comparison of up to five licences. Also, JLA's Compatibility Checker feature verifies whether the "use" (or inbound) licences are compatible with the "distribute" (or outbound) licences.
The EIF Toolbox is designed as a guidance for national public administrations to equip them with the tools necessary to align their National Interoperability Frameworks (NIFs) with the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) in order to promote interoperability at national and European level. The structure of the toolbox provides a complete and holistic approach on interoperability and allows users to access information and reusable solutions or components to tackle specific aspects of interoperability when designing a new digital solution.
Federate your solutions with Joinup
One of Joinup’s objectives is to build and maintain a catalogue of interoperability solutions. Various catalogues of solutions exist outside of Joinup, for example at Member States and international Standardisation Bodies. To bring these catalogues together under one portal, Joinup can harvest them and offer a central entry point to these solutions. This is possible thanks to the platform’s federation process which uses the ADMS-AP specification.
Source code reuse
Joinup satisfies multiple needs, from providing interoperable digital government ICT solutions to being an online space for collaborating, sharing and learning about digital public services and initiatives. But did you know that Joinup is an interoperable solution of its own, offering its source code to anyone interested in setting up an interactive, functional, and reusable system? The Joinup Development Team has also contributed more than 30 reusable modules to the Drupal community (Joinup is Drupal-based). Find out more here!
The platform also provides users with its own dedicated Joinup collection where all community-oriented activities are possible. In this space you can share your news and events, discuss about digital transformation, and get informed about the latest developments happening on the Joinup platform. Additionally, you have quick access to the platform’s Frequently Asked Questions, How-To articles, and videos, the Roadmap of future improvements and features, as well as to technical documentation (architecture and federation details). All this is just a click away, available in the navigation menu on your top left!