6 Interoperability layers

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There are four layers of interoperability: legal, organisational, semantic and technical. In addition to these, there is a cross-cutting component of the four layers, ‘integrated public service governance’ and a background layer, ‘interoperability governance’. As the figure below.


logo Interoperability Layer 1: Interoperability governance 🔝

Interoperability governance refers to decisions on interoperability frameworks, institutional arrangements, organisational structures, roles and responsibilities, policies, agreements and other aspects of ensuring and monitoring interoperability at national and EU levels.

Covered by:

Recommendation 20: Ensure holistic governance of interoperability activities across administrative levels and sectors. 🔗Supporting Solutions

Recommendation 21: Put in place processes to select relevant standards and specifications, evaluate them, monitor their implementation, check compliance and test their interoperability. 🔗Supporting Solutions

Recommendation 22: Use a structured, transparent, objective and common approach to assessing and selecting standards and specifications. Take into account relevant EU recommendations and seek to make the approach consistent across borders. 🔗Supporting Solutions

Recommendation 23: Consult relevant catalogues of standards, specifications and guidelines at national and EU level, in accordance with your NIF and relevant DIFs, when procuring and developing ICT solutions. 🔗Supporting Solutions

Recommendation 24: Actively participate in standardisation work relevant to your needs to ensure your requirements are met. 🔗Supporting Solutions

Integrated public service governance Interoperability Layer 2: Integrated public service governance 🔝

European public services should be governed to ensure: integration, seamless execution, reuse of services and data, and development of new services and ‘building blocks’

Covered by:

Recommendation 25: Ensure interoperability and coordination over time when operating and delivering integrated public services by putting in place the necessary governance structure. 🔗Supporting Solutions

Recommendation 26: Establish interoperability agreements in all layers, complemented by operational agreements and change management procedures. 🔗Supporting Solutions

Legal Interoperability Layer 3: Legal interoperability 🔝

Legal interoperability is about ensuring that organisations operating under different legal frameworks, policies and strategies are able to work together.

Covered by:

Recommendation 27: Ensure that legislation is screened by means of ‘interoperability checks’, to identify any barriers to interoperability. When drafting legislation to establish a European public service, seek to make it consistent with relevant legislation, perform a ‘digital check’ and consider data protection requirements. 🔗Supporting Solutions

Organisation Interoperability Layer 4: Organisational interoperability 🔝

This refers to the way in which public administrations align their business processes, responsibilities and expectations to achieve commonly agreed and mutually beneficial goals.

Covered by:

Recommendation  28: Document your business processes using commonly accepted modelling techniques and agree on how these processes should be aligned to deliver  a European public service. 🔗Supporting Solutions

Recommendation 29: Clarify and formalise your organisational relationships for establishing and operating European public services. 🔗Supporting Solutions

Semantic Interoperability Layer 5: Semantic interoperability 🔝

Semantic interoperability ensures that the precise format and meaning of exchanged data and information is preserved and understood throughout exchanges between parties, in other words ‘what is sent is what is understood.

Covered by:

Recommendation 30: Perceive data and information as a public asset that should be appropriately generated, collected, managed, shared, protected and preserved. 🔗Supporting Solutions

Recommendation 31: Put in place an information management strategy at the highest possible level to avoid fragmentation and duplication. Management of metadata, master data and reference data should be prioritised. 🔗Supporting Solutions

Recommendation 32: Support the establishment of sector-specific and cross-sectoral communities that aim to create open information specifications and encourage relevant communities to share their results on national and European platforms. 🔗Supporting Solutions

Tec Interoperability Layer 6: Technical interoperability 🔝

This covers the applications and infrastructures linking systems and services. Aspects of technical interoperability include interface specifications, interconnection services, data integration services, data presentation and exchange, and secure communication protocols.

Covered by:

Recommendation 33: Use open specifications, where available, to ensure technical interoperability when establishing European public services. 🔗Supporting Solutions

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