The Action Plan calls on the European Commission 'to issue an agreed interoperability framework to support the delivery of pan-European eGovernment services to citizens and enterprises. It will address information content and recommend technical policies and specifications for joining up public administration information systems across the EU. It will be based on open standards and encourage the use of open source software' (Action Plan page 10).
In early 2003, further to this explicit invitation, representatives from the EU Institutions and Member States' Administrations initiated discussions on a framework that was soon to become officially known as the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) , thereby emphasizing the fact that it supports the delivery of pan-European eGovernment services. The EIF was created within the IDA programme in collaboration with IST and eTen.
The EIF is primarily addressed to the managers of e-government projects in Member States' Administrations and EU bodies. Member States Administrations should use the guidance provided by the EIF to supplement their national e-government Interoperability Frameworks with a pan-European dimension and thus enable pan-European interoperability. European Institutions and Agencies should use the European Interoperability Framework for their operations with each other and with citizens, enterprises and administrations in the EU Member States.
A second document is currently under preparation. This will address the long-term implementation and maintenance of the EIF, as well as the actions supporting its promotion and the development of pan-European e-government services.
The EIF document published on this page is to be considered as an 'IDA working document'. It does not represent at this stage any official position neither from the Commission nor from the IDA programme.
This first draft version of the EIF is published to inform all the stakeholders - public administrations, enterprises and citizens - about the work that has been performed so far. In addition to transparency purposes, IDA also expects that the release of this first draft will allow the collection of further reactions and contributions from external parties. IDA will consider any input and adapt the EIF as necessary, whilst progressing with its internal reviews and updates.
Comments may be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, mentioning 'EIF' as e-mail subject.
On this issue see also the Commission Staff Working Paper : "Linking-up Europe"