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Frequently Asked Questions

Question  1: What is Interoperability?

In the ISA context, interoperability means the facilitation of cross-border and cross-sector information exchange, taking into account legal, organisational, semantic and technical aspects.

Question  2: What is eGovernment?

Public administrations offering their services online and exchanging information with each other and businesses/citizens in electronic format.

Question  3: What is the ISA programme?

Public administrations are expected to provide efficient public services to businesses and citizens across Europe. ISA, the programme on Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations, addresses this need. ISA supports and facilitates efficient and effective cross-border electronic collaboration between European public administrations. The programme enables the delivery of electronic public services and ensures the availability, interoperability, re-use and sharing of common solutions. A budget of 164,1Mio Euro has been foreseen for the period from 2010-2015.

Question  4: Is ISA about eGovernment?

Yes. However, ISA does not cover all aspects of eGovernment: only activities between public administrations are supported, not activities between public administrations and businesses/ citizens directly. Businesses and citizens will profit from ISA indirectly since improved electronic collaboration will enable Public administrations to provide required information, documentation and certification quickly and reliably.

Since most Public Administrations are by now providing their services electronically, ISA gradually refrained from using the term "eGovernment services" and replaced it by the term European Public Services.

Question  5: What is the difference between ISA and the eGovernment action plan?

ISA is a support programme that funds actions which are implemented by the European Commission. The eGovernment action plan points out areas in which common actions of the Member States are needed, sets goals and gives time frames to reach these goals. In the Malmo and Granada Ministerial Declarations the Member States committed to the goals of the action plan. Member States will implement the actions from the eGovernment action plan within their countries themselves. The Commission monitors this process and provides expertise and benchmark data so that the Member States can assess their progress both in comparison to their own performance and in comparison to the performance of other Member States.

Question  6: What is the difference between the Digital Agenda and ISA?

The Digital Agenda is to help every European go digital. It is a strategy that outlines what needs to be done to help EU citizens to profit as much as possible from the possibilities that the digital economy can offer. Fostering interoperability is one of the priority areas but there are many others, like enabling access to very fast networks, questions of trust and security, fostering the development of eSkills and supporting research and innovation in the ICT area.

Out of the many issues addressed under the Digital Agenda, ISA is dealing with interoperability, re-use and sharing between European Public administrations.

Question  7: What is the difference between the Digital Agenda, ISA, the eGovernment action plan, the EIS and the EIF?