This issue of Synergy marks an important transition in the development of eGovernment services in the European Union. The IDABC programme is coming to a close after five years and the new ISA programme – Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations – picks up the baton.
The IDABC work programme has centred on developing common and shared solutions. Over the years, it has clearly demonstrated that a co-ordinated approach by Member States helps deliver results faster, with higher quality, and ensures that these results are fully aligned with administrative requirements.
Support at high government level is an important factor in delivering effective interoperability. A key achievement we have made under the IDABC programme has been to bring the EU’s chief information offi cers (CIOs) into the decision-making process. We intend to further intensify cooperation at this high government level under ISA. The priorities for the ISA programme, for example, will be based on the European Interoperability Strategy (EIS) that we are currently developing together with these CIOs – the most senior information technology officials in the Member States. Also the European Interoperability Framework (EIF), which we are currently revising together with the Member States, will have a big impact on the ISA. By early summer, we expect to present the ISA work programme outlining the first activities.
An important new task for the ISA, in comparison with IDABC, will be the systematic assessment of the ICT implications of Community legislation and the identification of the appropriate underlying technologies to support this legislation. Our goal is to ensure that the different public administrations have a coordinated technological approach when applying the legislation, in order to avoid the creation of new eBarriers in the Internal Market which might emerge if Member States develop isolated solutions.
I am proud to say that the signifi cance of our work under IDABC was clearly given due recognition at the recent 5th Ministerial eGovernment Conference which took place in Malmö, Sweden, in November. Looking to the future, the fi nal Declaration of the EU Ministers called for continued close administrative cooperation to remove the legal, organisational, semantic and technical obstacles that still remain in the delivery of cross-border eGovernment services. Improved interoperability between public administrations is becoming increasingly important as the EU offers more and more of its government services online. ISA will be a cornerstone in the realisation of this important goal!
Editorial published in Synergy 13 - December 2009