The project was launched in 2013 and involved over 100 public and private actors from 22 countries. Its job has been to consolidate and solidify the work done in previous Large Scale Pilots, providing generic IT solutions for cross-border communication which can be applied to any policy domain.

During its four years of operation, e-SENS succeeded in creating a pan-European set of IT building blocks for digital public services that embrace both national and sectorial diversity and facilitate interoperability.

The e-SENS Reference Architecture relies on international and industrial standards, but also on actions such as the ISA²-Interoperability Framework (EIRA), which are all integrated within the e-SENS Architecture Framework. Among many successful activities e-SENS has:

- extended e-Delivery building blocks and completed the journey towards a generic e-Delivery solution that is suited for large scale production use;

- provided a cross-border framework to make interoperable country-specific authentication infrastructure through digital identity (e-ID);

- supported a smooth evolution from legacy e-ID infrastructures (STORK and STORK 2.0), bridging the gap between the eIDAS and STORK solutions by providing an eIDAS/STORK plug-in;

- experimented with new approaches referred to as "federated signing" where e-ID is used to authorise remote signature creation;

- evaluated different trust establishment models regarding legal, business-domain requirements, operational efforts and costs, scalability and market availability;

- evaluated the Reference Architecture in relation to Cybersecurity by security assessment of building blocks;

- provided an open source, generic testing environment for implementations of e-SENS standards/profiles (the Minder).

e-SENS’s technical developments have been tested and validated in a variety of policy domains. For example, European e-Tendering has been proven possible thanks to the successful exchange of messages between different national Tendering systems. Access to cross-bordering opportunities has been simplified by the roll-out of the e-SENS VCD solution, which facilitates implementation of the European Single Procurement Document. European companies have further benefited from streamlining business registration processes, enabling them to expand their activities to new markets. Also European citizens could see the tangible value of e-SENS in the way it showed how travelling, living and studying can be made easier by cross-border IT communication. Providing access to live e-Education services, advancements in the application of patient rights in Europe in terms of medical records, e-Prescription and insurance confirmation, as well as efforts to facilitate access to e-Justice services related to matrimonial matters, have contributed to bringing down the digital borders in Europe.

The completion of the e-SENS project closes a series of Large Scale Pilot projects under the CIP ICT PSP program. However, the project’s specifications and developments to implement digital public services are being handed over to further EU initiatives which will ensure their maintenance and further improvement.

The era of Large Scale Pilots projects, concluded by the e-SENS project, resulted in effective collaborations between Member States and associated countries. Building on this positive experience, the ‘live’ phase of digital public services is now starting. Deployment of digital service infrastructures supported by financial instruments offered by the European Commission within the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in Telecom will contribute to the creation of a European ‘ecosystem’ of interoperable digital services for the Digital Single Market.

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