Flexible administrative cooperation platform
IMI – the Internal Market Information System
When is this action of interest to you?
You work in a national, regional or local authority, and you need information from an authority in another Member State. IMI helps you to identify that authority and to communicate with it, even if you do not have a common language.
You can exchange information required in order to facilitate the free movement and establishment of citizens and businesses.
What is this action about?
IMI is a flexible administrative cooperation platform developed to support European public administrations that need to exchange information, particularly in the context of the free and unimpeded movement of and the establishment and employment of citizens throughout the Single Market.
IMI has been developed by the European Commission in partnership with the EU Member States. It is a multilingual IT tool that allows the efficient and secure exchange of information between public authorities at national, regional and local levels in the 30 European Economic Area (EEA) Member States that currently use the application.
IMI has evolved into an administrative cooperation toolkit, offering various types of customisable exchanges:
- Requests for Information between authorities
- Notifications to other Member States and/or the European Commission
- Alerts to other Member States and/or the European Commission
- Repositories for sharing information
- A front office where citizens and businesses can submit information to authorities as part of an administrative procedure
It is fully established for the exchange of information between public authorities across the EEA (EU + Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland):
- IMI facilitates cooperation between authorities in nine different areas of Internal Market legislation
- Over 7 000 authorities are registered in IMI, with 13,000+ users
- Since the launch in 2008, over 25 000 requests for information have been exchanged
- More than half of all information requests are answered within two weeks.
- In a survey conducted in April 2015, 80% of users said that IMI was easy to use
What are the objectives?
- allowing Member States to handle information requests more efficiently and according to different needs;
- positioning the IMI application as a generic tool-kit for administrative cooperation across a wide spectrum of community policies;
- improving the practical operation of the IMI application for its users, enabling them to perform the widest possible range of daily, weekly or monthly tasks in relation to the administrative cooperation provisions in EU law.
What are the benefits?
- promote faster and more effective cross-border communication;
- enable administrative cooperation requirements embodied in certain EU legislation to be met;
- reduce costs in cross-border cooperation;
- help European citizens and enterprises to fully benefit from their rights in the Single Market.
What are the next steps?
January 2016 will see the launch of the European Professional Card (EPC). In the first phase, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, mountain guides and real estate agents wanting to work in another EU country, will be able to apply for the recognition of their qualifications and documents via an on-line procedure. A positive outcome will result in an EPC, which is a virtual card rather than a physical card. A professional will be able to submit and manage applications for an EPC via IMI's front office. EPC applications will be transferred to the main IMI back office for processing by the appropriate authority. At a later date, other professions will be able to take advantage of the EPC procedure.
Case study – What do our users say?
‘We have sent data requests to the German and Hungarian authorities. We needed the following information about enterprises: legal form of the enterprise, and data about the owner and the external representative. IMI helped us to get to the essential information not only in an easier way, but also quicker and with a quality that you can rely on. Our positive experience with IMI shows us that we will use it in the future.’
Dr Eveline Kuzmich, The Vienna Health Insurance Fund (wage and social dumping control centre)