In case you have missed the e-SENS event you can still embark on the journey of a new era for Digital Public Services and contribute to the EU Digital ecosystem for public administrations and beyond.

Cross-borders Europe picture

The e-SENS Large Scale Pilot project final conference took place in Brussels last week (see blog). This successful conference celebrated the achievements of the e-SENS  project in contributing to a promising Digital ecosystem for developing and operating cross-border digital public services. The conference was attended by over 200 guests from public administrations, IT industry organisations including SMEs, standardisation bodies, media, consultancy companies and academia from 30 countries.

Why should you not miss the train of going Digital across borders?

Nowadays, we are not simply connecting to the Internet but we are surrounded by the Internet. This is why the Commission and Member States need to define the rules of this new environment for public services delivery. It is part of the Commission's plan to deliver digital public services that work across borders, which are a necessary pre-condition for the Digital Single Market.

Vice President ANSIP said in June 2016 "Digital technologies need to be an integrated part of governments’ modernisation strategies. It is how we can achieve seamless cross-border digital public services that will contribute to Europe's competitiveness and help our companies to grow globally."

e-SENS and today the Connecting Europe Facility Digital (CEF digital), which is integrating e-SENS solutions, support the implementation of various European policies and help to comply with eGovernment-related legislations such as eIDAS where the deadlines for implementation are coming soon.

For that purpose e-SENS has contributed to a scalable cross border Digital Public Services ecosystem composed of symbiotic Building Blocks (such as eId, eDelivery, eSignature…) that have been tested in different policy areas (e-Health, e-Justice, e-Procurement and many more). Those Building Blocks based on open standards and technical specifications are contributing to a kind of European "ICT acquis" that will be settled into the upcoming EU catalogue of standards for public procurement for which an open consultation is ongoing.

This Digital ecosystem should now encompass all domains and be extended with new Building Blocks. For this to happen, the working culture of public administrations needs to move away from a silo mentality to a culture of sharing and reuse. Take up by Governments and industry of CEF Digital solutions is now crucial in order to make a success of the Digital Single Market.

This Digital ecosystem is vital for ensuring a fast development of Digital public administrations in Europe to better serve Citizens and Businesses. The coming challenge will be to manage and support that ecosystem to grow, flourish and become sustainable.

Are you still not on the train of cross-border public services by reusing the Building Blocks of the European cross border Digital public Services ecosystem? In that case, it is not too late to join us into this promising adventure.

More information can be found on the e-SENS and CEF Digital websites.

The next phase for enhancing this Digital ecosystem is the implementation of the EU-wide Once-Only Principle (OOP) allowing the exchange of data across borders and across domains to make life of citizens and business less burdensome when interacting with public administrations while respecting privacy and data protection. Many activities have already started in this area. A study has been published, the large scale pilot TOOP for applying OOP to Business has started and the community building project SCOOP4C for applying OOP to citizens has been launched. Those activities will also benefit from the EU cross border Digital Public Services ecosystem.

Digital Public Services ecosystem

Wikipedia definition: A digital ecosystem is a distributed, adaptive, open socio-technical system with properties of self-organisation, scalability and sustainability inspired from natural ecosystems.

Gartner definition: A digital ecosystem is an interdependent group of enterprises, people and/or things that share standardized digital platforms for a mutually beneficial purpose.

European Interoperability Framework definition: An ecosystem is a system whose members benefit from each other’s participation via symbiotic relationships (positive-sum relationships.