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Focus on – Interview, Vice-President Šefčovič

Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration

"Working together to ensure common rules applied consistently"

Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration since February 2010, was a keynote speaker at the 6th Ministerial eGovernment Conference, entitled "Borderless eGovernment Services for Europeans". The event was organised on 17-18 November 2011 in Poznań by the Polish Presidency of the European Union together with the European Commission.

The event was attended by 700 stakeholders, including officials from national, regional and local administrations, industry representatives, civil society and experts. An accompanying exhibition, in which the European Commission provided information on its actions under the ISA programme, showcased the most recent European developments in the field of eGovernment services and applications. In addition, alongside the conference, an Informal Ministerial Meeting brought together ministers responsible for eGovernment to discuss how to ensure more and better eGovernment services in Europe. The meeting focused in particular on concrete ways to both facilitate access to such services and to optimise the exchange of information between European Public Administrations (EPAs).

Interviewed at the conference, Commissioner Šefčovič highlighted the main challenges facing the Commission and national authorities in achieving a new model of electronic information exchange between EPAs. Reiterating the importance of Member States administrations ‘working together to ensure common rules applied consistently’, he stressed the benefits that such an interoperative approach could bring, not least in reducing costs by sharing and reusing other Public Administrations’ solutions to similar problems but also, importantly, in removing invisible e-barriers to allow all Europeans to take full advantage of the potential of the single market.

Watch the interview in fullmpeg-4v(20 MB).

User Insights
    • "One should focus on the processes, one should ensure that you optimise the services you provide. The semantics and technical details will follow."

      Adam Arndt
      Special Adviser, Danish National IT and Telecom Agency
    • "The initiatives that attract the attention of citizens come at local and regional level. That's where the challenge is: to have a framework where these services can be developed at a local level but then be exploited at a national and Union level."

      Declan Deasy
      Director, DG Informatics, European Commission
    • "The EU Commission is doing a great job…but its not yet enough: it really depends on the individuals and on the willingness of the people to make their information available and to communicate with each other."

      Stefan Decker
      Director of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute, Ireland
    • "We would like to foster more collaboration between the Member States. We know that it exists, however we think that electronic cooperation between the Member States can bring additional value both to the Member State administrations and to the citizens and businesses."

      Polina Mosheva
      ISA Programme Manager, DG Informatics, European Commission
    • "The key challenges in Europe are just like in the United States. It’s changing the cultural mindset, it’s making it happen, it’s getting people out of their silos, out of their silos."

      Dr Brad Niemann
      Director and Senior Data Scientist at Semantic Community USA
    • "If we really want to promote semantic interoperability, we should not only concentrate on promoting technologies. But we should also try to promote what is at the core of semantic interoperability, which is basically common agreements."

      Vasilios Peristeras
      ISA Programme Manager, DG Informatics, European Commission
    • "Practically in local government, unlike central government, everybody’s got their day jobs, there are very few specialists, so you really have to make a business case for people to get involved. You have to show them something works, you have to provide the tools for them."

      Mike Thacker
      Technical Director at Porism Limited, UK
    • "Interestingly, we find where we provide web-based tools and web-based standards such as standard vocabularies, standard algorithms, it’s actually the smaller municipalities that make most use of those because they don’t have their own internal infrastructure."

      Mike Thacker
      Technical Director at Porism Limited, UK