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What is a building block?


The CEF building blocks offer basic capabilities that can be used in any European project to facilitate the delivery of digital public services across borders.

The basis for the CEF building blocks are interoperability agreements between European Union member states. The aim of the building blocks is thus to ensure interoperability between IT systems so that citizens, businesses and administrations can benefit from seamless digital public services wherever they may be in Europe.

To do so, the European Commission provides, for each building block, a Core Service Platform which consists of three layers:

  • At the core of each building block, a layer of technical specifications and standards that have to be complied with;
  • To facilitate the implementation of the technical specifications and standards, a layer of sample software that complies with them and is meant for reuse (for certain building blocks only);
  • To facilitate the adoption of the technical specifications and standards, a layer of services (e.g. conformance testing, help desks, onboarding services, etc.) meant for use (which varies depending on the building block).

The building blocks can be combined and used in projects in any domain or sector at European, national or local level.