Improving national and cross-border access to government data

Access to Base Registries

2016.28 Access to Base Registries              

When is this action of interest to you? 
  • You are a base registry representative and you receive requests to open up your registry to cross-sector or cross-border public services and/or other registries. To respond to these requests, you want to gain insights into how to develop/improve national and cross-border interoperability features of your base registry.
  • You are working for a public service and are in charge of liaising with national and cross-border base registries to develop new add-on services. You advise your public service organisation and the identified cross-border registries on how to become interoperable and/or how to gain interoperability maturity.

What is this action about?

Base registries, important components of European public services, are a trusted and authoritative source of information. They provide basic information on data items such as people, companies, vehicles, licences, buildings, locations and roads. 

As the information needed for operating European public services is owned and managed at the EU Member State level (or within an EU country), this action looks at whether and how the opening up of the registries – with the appropriate security and privacy measures – can help foster the establishment of European public services.

For such cooperation to take place, the interfaces between the registers need to be defined, published and harmonised at legal, organisational, semantic and technical levels.

This action also sets out to assess the needs for a Framework for Base Registry Access, based on best practices and all the different activities associated with master data management.

What are the objectives?

Providing both national and cross-border access to the base registries of data held by EU countries, by defining a common framework that makes this possible.

What are the benefits?

  • more efficient and effective access to information across borders when establishing European public services
  • quicker and easier European public service establishment
  • reduced administrative burdens

What has been achieved so far?

  • An overview of reusable solutions from EU countries in order to facilitate the interconnection and access to base registries. Reusing solutions could make the development of base registries and interconnecting infrastructures faster and more cost-efficient.
  • A detailed analysis of the state-of-affairs in the all EU countries, as well as the EFTA countries. The analysis has been carried out around four levels of the new European Interoperability Framework (EIF), i.e. legal, organisational, semantic and technical levels. The document also covered both the individual base registry level, as well as the interconnection level.
  • The exchange and promotion of best practices among EU countries that aim at speeding up the development and overcoming problems that are being faced by developers.
  • Guidelines have been developed with the aim to inspire public administrations to make their authentic sources of data more accessible and efficiently connected. The guidelines include recommendations and how-to on all interoperability aspects concerning base registries.

What are the next steps?

In 2018, the base registry interconnection and the ‘once-only’ principle in the individual EU countries will be investigated. This is an urgent priority as it is needed in order to develop the right policies at the EU level and also to identify missing solutions and collect existing ones into a common repository of reusable solutions, organised in accordance with the European Interoperability Reference Architecture.

The action will also create a base registry framework that 'describes the agreements and infrastructure for operating base registries and the relationships with other entities', as specified in the new version of the EIF. The framework will provide elements for public administrations to compare their state-of-affairs and maturity with a European model.