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Brussels, 17 June 2002

Connecting Europe's Administrations: New Euro 23.6 million Workplan

EU citizens, businesses and governments and EU candidate countries - will see directly the benefits of this year's € 23.6 million Interchange of Data Between Administrations (IDA) workplan, approved by the European Commission on 4 June. The IDA programme aims to improve electronic links between EU countries. This will help citizens by paving the way for more interactive eGovernment services. Its workplan for 2002 focuses on projects working towards eEurope and EU enlargement goals. This marks a change of direction from its previous focus on linking up governments' 'back offices'. Funding has been allocated to 70 separate projects: 39 projects of common interest (PCIs) in support of EU policies and 31 horizontal actions and measures (HAMs).

This year should also mark the start of large-scale involvement in the IDA programme by the EU candidate countries, who took part in the preparation of the 2002 work programme. The IDA programme is expected to be formally opened to most candidate countries in the coming months, once memoranda of understanding have been signed and IDA's legal basis has been amended.

Projects of Common Interest which have been allocated funding include six dealing with health and consumer protection, five with access to the internal market, and three with environmental policies. The SOLVIT project helps to resolve problems caused by the misapplication of EU law on the internal market. Another project will help with the mutual recognition of diplomas in the healthcare sector. Several new projects deal with public safety, reflecting the fact this is a policy priority for the EU.

A growing number of national government services are now being made available online, in line with the eEurope initiative. To ensure these services can work together when necessary, funding has been given to IDA projects providing an interoperability framework for pan-European e-services. Interoperability will also be addressed in specific IDA actions on directory services, electronic certificates and smart cards for e-government services.

Citizens and businesses will have direct access to the Portal of the EU Administration, which will provide access to public information and services related to personal and business life events with cross-border implications. This will be complemented by activities in support of electronic procurement.

The IDA communication platform (TESTA II) for data exchanges between European public authorities is also being upgraded, to improve reliability and data security. New actions are being undertaken to improve access to information distributed across Europe's public administrations.

Finally, the IDA work programme includes the inauguration of the e-Government Observatory which will assess eGovernment initiatives and emerging trends in software, R&D technologies and commercial solutions. This should link European-level activities more closely to developments in national, regional and local governments.

For a full description of IDA actions, see

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