For years, the Commission has worked in close cooperation with Member States and other stakeholders on a new initiative to reinforce the interoperability of the public sector in the EU. Now, the European Commission has deemed the time ready to adopt the Interoperable Europe Act.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration: “Improving public sector interoperability is fundamental for building our common digital European House. It translates the core European idea of finding together better solutions into the digital age.”
Interoperability in the public sector is the ability of administrations to cooperate and make public services function across borders, sectors and organisations. It is the invisible foundation of efficient and secure delivery of digital public services. A high level of interoperability saves time and costs for citizens and businesses and improves their interactions with the public sector.
Although a wide-ranging common interoperability acquis of interoperability cooperation already exists (based on the current European Interoperability Framework (EIF)), it is entirely voluntary. Recent evaluations have exposed serious limitations of this approach and EU Member States have increasingly stressed the need to strengthen EU interoperability cooperation.
To overcome these limitations, the new Act proposes to introduce a structured and co-owned EU cooperation framework for public administrations with the following pillars:
- An Interoperable Europe Board - that is co-owned by the Member States and the EU, and supported by public and private actors – for the development of a common strategic agenda for cross-border interoperability, the support in operational implementing interoperability solutions, and progress monitoring.
- Mandatory interoperability assessments to evaluate the impact of changes in IT systems related to cross-border interoperability in the EU.
- An Interoperable Europe Portal as a community platform and one-stop-shop for shared and reusable interoperability solutions.
- Innovation and support measures, including regulatory sandboxes and GovTech cooperation, to promote policy experimentation, developing skills and the scaling up of interoperability solutions for reuse.
The result will be the creation of a network of sovereign but interconnected digital public administrations that build together on a secure cross-border exchange of data for public services. It also accelerates the digital transformation of Europe's public sector. This way, the act helps the EU and its Member States to deliver better public services to citizens and businesses across Europe in a consistent, human-centric EU approach to interoperability.
With the Commission adaptation of the proposal for the Interoperable Europa Act, negotiations can start between the EU Council and European Parliament to translate the proposal into law.
Interested to learn more? Click below to discover:
Commission Staff Working Document: The European Interoperability Framework for Smart Cities and Communities (EIF4SCC)