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The Vision of a Connected Europe

Why are we connecting Europe?

The internet and digital technologies are transforming our world. At the same time the digital landscape is becoming more diverse, putting challenges on cross-border interoperability and intercommunication. As a result, Europeans still face barriers when using (cross-border) online tools and services. This means that citizens miss out on goods and services and businesses miss out on market potential, while also governments cannot fully benefit from digital technologies. The EU’s Digital Single Market aims to overcome these challenges by creating the right environment for digital networks and services to flourish. This is not only achieved by setting the right regulatory conditions, but also by providing cross-border digital infrastructures and services.

How are we doing this? 

To support the Digital Single Market in succeeding, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme is funding a set of generic and reusable Digital Service Infrastructures (DSI), also known as Building Blocks. The CEF Building Blocks offer basic capabilities that can be reused in any European project to facilitate the delivery of digital public services across borders and sectors. Currently, there are eight Building Blocks: Big Data Test Infrastructure, Context Broker, eArchiving, eDelivery, eID, eInvoicing, eSignature and eTranslation.

A Blockchain DSI (the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI)) will soon become a fully operational Building Block, and the Once Only Principle (OOP) is a preparatory action under CEF.

The CEF funding covers two elements:

  • A Core Service Platform, provided and maintained by the European Commission. Depending on the building block, the Core Service Platform may include technical specifications, sample software and supporting services (funding for the European Commission)
  • Generic services in the form of Grants, supporting the Member States in the implementation of projects that reuse the CEF building blocks (funding for the Member States)