The Interoperable Europe Act
On 21 November 2022, the European Commission adopted the Interoperable Europe Act proposal to strengthen cross-border cooperation in public sectors across the EU. Public sector interoperability is the ability of administrations to cooperate and make public services function across borders, sectors and organisational boundaries. This Act introduces a cooperation framework across the EU that helps build a secure cross-border exchange of data and agree on shared digital solutions. For instance, the creation of the EU Digital COVID Certificate facilitated cross-border travel in the EU during the pandemic.
The Act brings in several benefits, such as delivering better public services to citizens and businesses. It will also accelerate digital transformation in the EU by achieving Europe's digital targets for 2030 and supporting trusted data flows. Moreover, cross-border interoperability will be fostered to achieve cost savings of around €5.5 - €6.3 million for citizens and €5.7 - €19.2 billion for businesses dealing with public administrations.
The key highlights of the Act are:
- A structured EU cooperation where public administrations, supported by public and private actors, come together in the framework of projects co-owned by Member States, as well as regions and cities.
- Mandatory assessments evaluating the impact of changes in Information Technology systems on cross-border interoperability.
- Sharing and reuse of solutions, often open source, would be powered by a one-stop-shop ‘Interoperable Europe Portal' for solutions and community cooperation.
- Innovation and support measures would include regulatory sandboxes for policy experimentation, GovTech projects to develop and scale up solutions for reuse and training support.
The interoperability cooperation framework will be steered by the Interoperable Europe Board. The Board will be supported by the Interoperable Europe Community which brings together a broad set of interested practitioners and experts, such as GovTech companies, the Open Source community and Member States across the EU to help implement new solutions. The Act will be funded primarily by the Digital Europe Programme.
Data.europa.eu being the official open data portal for Europe actively supports interoperability and cross-border exchange of information required by various stakeholders to accelerate the digital transformation of Europe's public sector.
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