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Reporting period: 05/2012 - 04/2013

Internal Market Information System

About

The Internal Market Information system (IMI) is an IT-based information network that links up national, regional and local authorities across borders. It enables them to communicate quickly and easily with their counterparts abroad.

IMI contains, most importantly:

  • a multilingual search function that helps competent authorities to identify their counterparts in another country;
  • pre-translated questions and answers for all cases where they are likely to need information from abroad; and
  • a tracking mechanism that allows users to follow the progress of their information requests and that allows IMI coordinators at national or regional level to intervene if there are problems.

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Performance

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A country's overall performance is calculated by attributing the following values to each of its three individual indicators: red = 0, yellow = 1 and green = 2. The average is calculated and then converted to the relevant colour.

Overall performance

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The above map shows the overall performance of each Member State, taking into account all three indicators.

 

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Countries that accepted less than 60 % of their incoming requests within one week were marked as "red", those that accepted between 60 % and 79 % were marked as "yellow" and those that accepted 80 % or more were marked as "green". Liechtenstein is not included in the chart as it did not receive any requests.

 

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Countries that answered less than 60 % of their incoming requests within the mutually agreed deadline were marked as "red", those that answered between 60 % and 79 % within the deadline were marked as "yellow" and those that succeeded in doing so for 80 % or more of the incoming requests were marked as "green". Liechtenstein is not included in the chart as it did not receive any requests.

Answering speed

 

 

The chart on the first tab shows the total number of requests received in the areas of Professional Qualifications (PQ), the Services Directive (SD) and Posting of Workers (PW) as well as the average number of days taken to answer these requests.

The charts on the following three tabs show the number of requests in each area (PQ, SD and PW) and the average time taken to provide an answer.

Member States were evaluated based on the average number of days taken to answer requests in all three areas combined: countries that took more than 25 days on average to answer requests were marked as "red", those that took between 16 and 25 days were marked as "yellow" and those that provided an answer in less than 16 days on average were marked as "green". Liechtenstein is not included in the chart as it did not receive any requests.

For more statistics on the usage of IMI, see the IMI website »

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Achievements

2012 marked the 5th anniversary of IMI. The most important priority for this year was to get IMI ready to be used in new policy areas:

  • the IMI Regulationpdf came into force, providing a comprehensive legal framework for the operation of IMI. It consolidates the rules for the processing of personal data in IMI and prescribes a method for future expansion of IMI;
  • the IMI interface was improved, with a more user-friendly "look and feel", as well as a multi-tab presentation that allows viewing different parts of the application at the same time;
  • a generic repository was developed that allows storing information in a searchable database inside IMI;
  • the Commission's new machine translation tool MT@EC was introduced in IMI on a pilot basis, enabling translation of all languages into English and English into all other languages plus a number of other language pairs.

In which areas is IMI used?

So far, IMI is being used by competent authorities across Europe for the recognition of professional qualificationspdf and servicespdf as well as, on the basis of a pilot project started in 2011, for posted workerspdf.

Since November 2012, it provides a repository for information on licence holders for the cross-border road transport of Euro cashpdf and an IT platform for the problem solving network SOLVIT.

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Facts and Figures

  • The IMI network has been growing further, with 7 057 authorities registered at the end of April 2013 (255 more than at the end of April 2012).
  • The number of information exchanges has increased by 24 % in comparison to the previous year. This is mainly due to a rapid increase in the number of requests concerning posted workers. In the area of services, IMI traffic is still low.
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  • Since November 2012, IMI is being used to store information on licence holders for the cross-border road transport of Euro cash. So far, competent authorities in BE, DE, ES, FR, GR, IE, IT, LU, NL, SI and SK are participating in this new module.
  • Also since February 2013, IMI serves as the IT platform which SOLVIT centres use to assist each other. This integration does not affect the established informal working methods of SOLVIT, but makes certain new functionality available to SOLVIT users and reduces maintenance and hosting costs.

In a survey sent to all IMI users in June 2012,

  • 86 % of respondents stated that they found IMI easy to use;
  • 71 % of them find the new interface more user-friendly (22 % "about the same", 7 % "less user-friendly");
  • However, quite a large percentage of respondents indicated that they had received no or too little training on how to use IMI. Worryingly, this is also the case for a number of authorities to which national IMI coordinators have delegated some of their responsibilities.
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Priorities

  • Expansion of IMI to new policy areas, ensuring adequate information and training for new user groups.
  • Completion of the technical developments that enable IMI to be used for many forms of cooperation in different policy areas.
  • Making IMI even more user friendly with the aim to minimise the need for IT training.

To which areas is IMI expanding?

The Patients' Rights Directivepdf refers to IMI as the tool to support information exchanges on the right to practise of health professionals. Member States have to complete implementation of the Directive by October 2013.

Moreover, IMI will be used for notifications under the Services Directivepdf and the eCommerce Directivepdf. Further use of IMI is proposed for the free movement of public documents and the return of cultural goods.