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About ISA

Administrative procedures have the reputation of being lengthy, time-consuming and costly. Electronic collaboration between Public administrations can make these procedures quicker, simpler and cheaper for all parties concerned, in particular when transactions need to be done cross-border and/or cross-sector. The ISA programme of the European Commission facilitates such transactions through more than 40 actions with a budget of some EUR 160 million.


Helping Europe move towards a digital single market

The internal market is arguably the European Union’s biggest success story. By making it possible for people and goods to move freely across borders, Europe has been able to generate economic growth while providing citizens with new opportunities to improve their quality of life. Establishing a digital single market would mean that information can be exchanged easily and swiftly across borders, helping citizens and businesses to fully benefit from the freedoms of the single market.

Currently, moving countries for work, study or retirement brings about certain administrative requirements. When moving across borders, a person has to provide information and documentation – often issued by their home country’s administration – to public administrations, both national and local, in their new place of residence. Businesses also have a certain amount of document transmission and ‘form filling’ to do when establishing themselves in other EU Member States.

Member State administrations need to exchange information efficiently and effectively across borders if they are to discharge their responsibilities and provide services to people and businesses. If public administrations are able to access and exchange information about citizens and businesses directly, it could alleviate the administrative burden placed on all parties.

But this exchange of information poses a challenge. European public administrations are not yet geared up to transfer information electronically in an efficient manner. National information systems supporting eGovernment differ in style and function and primarily tend to address internal needs. But as more and more people and goods move within the EU, public administrations must start to provide efficient cross-border electronic public services.

Without a doubt, as the digital age unfolds the demand for these services will grow. The ISA programme has been designed to help public administrations meet this challenge.

ISA aims to foster interoperability between public administrations by helping to establish common approaches that will make collaboration a lot easier. Sharing and reusing tools such as common platforms and common components, along with the sharing of services like common infrastructures, will also play a part by keeping costs down and reducing time to market.

Political support and practical need

Member States committed to share existing tools, common specifications, standards and solutions more effectively and to encourage collaborative development of solutions where necessary. The European Commission was invited to facilitate cooperation among Member States to define, develop, implement and monitor cross-border interoperability. Read more

The EU-level policy environment

The ISA programme operates within a larger framework of EU-level policies and strategies on eGovernment that have been developed in recent years. Read more

ISA: a programme for targeted action

The ISA programme creates a framework that allows Member States to work together to create efficient and effective electronic cross-border public services for the benefit of citizens and businesses. It offers European public administrations a comprehensive approach to the establishment of electronic services that can easily cooperate across borders (interoperable electronic public services). Promotion of the interoperability of electronic public services forms the first pillar of the ISA programme. Read more