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What is interoperability for European eGovernment Services?

Interoperability
   

Interoperability means the ability of information and communication technology (ICT) systems, and of the business processes they support to exchange data and to enable the sharing of information and knowledge. [ref. EIF v.1.0]

The aspects of interoperability identified as being in need of consideration by the European Interoperability Framework v.1.0 (EIF) are: Organisational, Semantic and Technical interoperability (EIF, section 2.1.2).

Last update: 2/2006


Objectives
Activities
Achievements
Who will benefit?
The role of IDABC

Objectives

  • To support the European Union's strategy of providing user-centred eServices between public administrations, as well as between administrations and the public (citizens and enterprises), at a pan-European level
  • To supplement national frameworks in areas that cannot be adequately addressed by a purely national approach
  • To help exchange and share information and knowledge both within and across different policy areas, notably in the context of the IDABC programme and any other relevant Community programmes and initiatives.

[As defined by the European Interoperability Framework v.1.0]

Activities

  • Drafting, maintaining and promoting application of the European Interoperability Framework guidelines
  • Promotion of events such as workshops and conferences
  • Dissemination of information and best practice
  • Support for Open Standards and Open Source Software.

Achievements

  • The European Interoperability Framework v.1.0 in response to the eEurope Action Plan 2005, at the Seville summit call upon the European Commission “to issue an agreed interoperability framework to support the delivery of pan-European eGovernment services to citizens and enterprises”.
  • The Architecture Guidelines, an IDABC service offering a framework for the establishment of other IDA services, namely TESTA, CIRCA and PKI, as well as for users who wish to interoperate with IDA and IDABC networks.
  • The Content Interoperability Strategy for the IDABC programme in order to ensure a concerted and congruent approach to the content and semantic management of future cross-border eGovernment services.
  • The promotion of the Open Document Exchange Format initiative on the IDABC policy on formats will allow electronic documents to be exchanged among authorities, citizens and business in such a way that would not force the use of specific software products and would ensure universal readability of documents.

Who will benefit?

  • Member States wishing to interoperate at a multilateral, pan-European level, thus making their services available to citizens and businesses in other Member States
  • The ultimate beneficiaries will be citizens and businesses in need of such eServices provided by governments at a pan-European level.

The role of IDABC

Interoperability is key to all of IDABC’s horizontal eGovernment-related activities. It enables seamless cooperation between Member States and therefore better implementation of EU policies. An integrated approach to interoperability will help to guide and support the development of electronic services. Activities to support interoperability have already been undertaken under IDABC’s predecessor IDA II. These include the publication of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF v.1.0), recommendations for promoting open document formats and an XML Clearinghouse feasibility study.