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European Interoperability Framework

Konstantinos Bovalis

(Submission #192)


The European Commission has recently adopted the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) (COM (2017) 134). The document presents a common approach on how to deliver European public services in an interoperable manner. The approach has been agreed with the EU Member States and other stakeholders through a series of consultations. The EIF will contribute to the establishment of the Digital Single Market and to the increase of Europe's potential and competitiveness.

The new EIF puts emphasis on how interoperability principles and models should apply in practice. It also considers related emerging policies and gives emphasis to end-user needs. The framework puts a strong focus on openness and information management, data portability, interoperability governance and integrated service delivery. The document provides 47 specific recommendations to facilitate the alignment of National Interoperability Frameworks (NIFs) to the EIF. If no action is taken in this sense, Member States, in their effort to meet current challenges quickly, may opt for individual and divergent NIFs. This would lead to incompatible solutions that may increase digital fragmentation across the EU and hinder the realisation of the Digital Single Market.

We are aware of the complexity of the alignment process. To help the Member States with this task, we offer them assistance through the National Interoperability Framework Observatory (NIFO). The NIFO provides information about NIFs and related interoperability and digital strategies/policies to help public administrations to share and reuse experiences and to support the transposition of the EIF nationally.

Thanks to the NIFO, we have learnt some success stories of alignment of National Interoperability Frameworks to the EIF, with the consequent benefits for public administrations, businesses and citizens:

• The revamped Belgian Walloon geo-portal centralises the region's geographic data and aims at promoting their reuse. This new version includes the WalOnMap tool for dynamic visualisation of the entire catalogue of publicly accessible geodata.

• The Audit Guide has been published by Spanish Public Administrations to help assessing the compliance with the National Interoperability Framework (Esquema Nacional de Interoperabilidad – ENI) through a list of controls.

• On the way to further development is the electronic exchange between public authorities and citizens; Denmark’s work to prepare and procure a Digital Post solution has started. The so-called Next generation Digital Post (NgDP) will emerge from this process.


Topic Area:  [3.3] Alignment with national, EU and international policies/initiatives
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Comments:   Interoperability; EU policies; eGovernment; modernisation of public administrations; IT solutions

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