The complexity of Belgium’s government increases the costs of eGovernment services and lowers their effectiveness and efficiency, says Luc Van Tilborgh, eGovernment specialist for the DG Digital Transformation programme of the federal government. A remedy would be to make eGovernment services interoperable, but subsidiarity prevents this becoming mandatory, he says: “Cooperation is the key.”
Belgium’s regions, language communities and federal government are working to implement the European Interoperability Framework (IEF). The EIF, updated in March last year, gives specific guidance for setting up interoperable digital public services.
In February, Van Tilborgh presented an overview of the interoperability of eGovernment services at the Interop Summit 2018. Overall, the Belgian implementation – known as the Belgian Interoperability Framework (BelgIF) – is improving eGovernment services, says Van Tilborgh. The majority of eGovernment services are reusable, safe and secure, inclusive and accessible, he says, but user-centricity and administrative simplification of eGovernment services need attention.
Belgium’s DG Digital Transformation programme and the BelgIF network are partners in the Joinup collaboration platform for eGovernment professionals. On Joinup, they share their Interoperability Catalogue, tools that can be used to develop eGovernment services.