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Promoting sharing and reuse of interoperability solutions


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Sharing and re-use strategy

When is this action of interest to you?

You are working in a European public administration and you want to reduce the cost and shorten the time to implement public services by re-using already available solutions and learning from the best practices.

You are working in a European public administration preparing new legislation procedures, or recommendations – for example, related to the creation of interoperable services – and would like to learn from similar legislation, studies and best practices in the field developed by other EU countries.

What is this action about?

This action defines a common framework to enable the efficient and effective sharing of IT solutions in the context of providing public services in Europe.

Public services can be implemented faster and more efficiently by using already available IT solutions and common IT services, and by learning from the experiences of other administrations. In addition, using the same solutions and adapting best practices to one's needs often indirectly result in services that are more interoperable and more open.

The concept of sharing and re-use can be applied to all levels and all types of artefacts, including: technical solutions such as IT applications; semantic assets such as different taxonomies or code lists; or even frameworks, guidelines, legislation and licences such as the European Union Public Licence.

Several ISA initiatives in the area of sharing and reuse relating to open source software, semantic assets as well as assessments of standards and specifications will be embedded in the overall approach.

Europe – or for that matter, most of the world – has experienced an economic crisis. This crisis has required public administration to do the same, or even more, with much less. It is in that context that reusing already available solutions has the potential to bring much needed savings.

What were the objectives?

This action defined a framework that provides a number of recommendations to generic public administrations, as well as specific ones to central bodies, helping them to better share and reuse IT solutions.

In addition, a number of additional artefacts (see side bar) have been developed under the action, such as:

  • a report on policies and initiatives on sharing and reuse in EU countries
  • a report on the various governance and business models used in EU countries that facilitate sharing and the reuse of IT solutions
  • a report on the data licencing practices in Europe
  • a meta guideline on sharing and reuse, by reusing several other guidelines published by the Commission

What are the benefits?

As there are still major artefacts being developed, such as the Sharing and Reuse Framework, it is too early to assess the full impact of this action.

The guidelines, reports and models developed under this action are published on Joinup and have been read hundreds to thousands times by interested users.

The action has contributed to initiatives around Public Sector Information by a report on the various data licensing practices in Europe, which was very well received.

It has also contributed to better procurement practices in Europe, through the development and dissemination of several publications.

What are the next steps?

In 2016, the action finishes all activities funded by the ISA programme:

  • It has launched a public consultation on the Sharing and Reuse Framework and will publish the final version still in 2016.
  • It has launched the Sharing and Reuse Awards competition, which is a contest for public administrations that co-develop and provide shared IT solutions. The award aims to facilitate future sharing and re-use by recognising best practices in Europe. The winners will be announced in March 2017.
  • It is preparing a Sharing and Reuse Conference, planned to be held in March 2017. The aim of the conference is to discuss and share good practices related to the sharing and re-use of IT solutions on a policy and practical level.

Activities around the theme of sharing and reusing IT solutions continue under the ISA2 programme, in the context of action 2016.31 Sharing and reuse.

Contact the Programme Manager - ISA Action 40205

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