Interoperability means the ability of information and communication technology (ICT) systems, as well as, of the business processes they support in order to exchange data and enable the sharing of information and knowledge.
Interoperability is a key factor to all of IDABC's so-called horizontal measures (HM) activities: The implementation of pan-European eGovernment requires the collaboration of public administrations in 27 different Member States and in EU institutions. That collaboration will lead to the emergence of better services for European citizens and businesses and further promote a more efficient implementation of EU policies.
Following the outlines of the eEurope Action Plan, the IDABC decision (Decision 2004/387/EC) is therefore based on a framework of common principles and rules, as well as, on the agreement on open standards and interfaces for the implementation of interoperability between systems, applications, business processes and actors producing or using eGovernment services.
This network-based approach requires a great effort in order to define rules of collaboration, coordination of processes, formats and specifications, as well as instances acting as brokers between systems.
IDABC activities are therefore not limited to producing guidelines; they also entail planning and implementing infrastructures to support interoperability.