ISA² - Interoperability solutions for public administrations, businesses and citizens

Shaping the future interoperability policy

The European Commission is currently evaluating the ISA² programme and the European Interoperability Framework to present a reinforced public sector interoperability policy in 2021. 


What is this initiative about? 

2020  became a pivotal point in the future of the digital agenda of the EU. In February, the European Commission adopted the Communication ‘Shaping Europe's digital future’ (COM(2020) 67) under the headline ambition ‘Europe fit for the digital age’.  The Communication sets out as a key action the development of a ‘reinforced EU governments interoperability strategy’ by 2021, aiming to foster coordination and the adoption of common standards for public services and data flows. Throughout the rest of the year, the need for action in the field of interoperability has become even more prominent as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Against this background, the Commission has launched the evaluation of the ISA² programme and that of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF, COM (2017) 134), as well as an impact assessment for a future public sector interoperability strategy for the EU.  

As the ISA² programme is coming to an end in December 2020, its final evaluation is a legal obligation stemming from the ISA² Decision establishing the programme. Three years having passed since the adoption of the new EIF, now is also the right time to look back and take stock of the achievements of the EIF in the past years. Together, the evaluations aim to provide timely input for shaping up a new strategy to enhance the interoperability of public services in the EU, taking into account the needs of stakeholders as well as the role of emerging technologies. 


Will there be an independent study? 

Yes, the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) is conducting three independent studies for DG DIGIT of the European Commission to support the evaluations of the ISA² programme and the EIF, as well as the impact assessment. The studies have the following objectives:  

  • Evaluating the implementation of the ISA² programme, now public here,
  • Evaluating the implementation of the EIF by assessing the set of non-binding rules put forward in the EIF and focusing on five evaluation criteria: effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and EU added value; and 
  • Defining policy options for a new interoperability strategy and assessing their impacts on specific stakeholder groups and on the functioning of the Single Market. 


Can I contribute to the initiative? 

Yes! Interoperability is about working together towards a common goal. We believe that the future policy should be co-created with the stakeholders. 

A number of consultation activities were carried out, in line with the Commission’s Better Regulation agenda. These activities included:

  • several workshops, 
  • targeted interviews with stakeholders in the interoperability field, 
  • a targeted online survey and 
  • a public consultation on the Have your say portal.  

Main needs collected

How can I stay informed? 

All further developments will be announced on this page and promoted in the ISA² newsletter, click here to subscribe.