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Brussels, 20 June 2002

Networking national administrations to pave the way for an enlarged Europe

Administrations in the Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Slovenia will be able to exchange data with EU Member States' back offices on how best to apply EU law, enforce single market rules, and supply e-Government services across borders to citizens and enterprises, further to a European Commission decision taken today. This decision opens the way for them to participate in the Interchange of Data between Administrations (IDA), whose € 23.6 million work programme for 2002 was approved by the Commission on 4 June (IP/02/874). IDA participation rules will be laid down in memoranda of understanding soon to be signed with these countries. Stepping up data exchange will accelerate the candidates' takeup of EU "acquis communautaire" legislation before they formally join the Union, thereby safeguarding security, freedom and justice in the enlarged Europe.

Similar memoranda should also be signed with Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania and Turkey, as soon as remaining national constitutional and procedural difficulties with the memoranda texts have been ironed out. Malta and Slovakia are expected to follow them in a matter of months.

Further to the completion this year of the procedures required to allow for the candidate countries' formal participation in the IDA II Programme, a major challenge for 2003 will be the effective and efficient networking of the administrations in an enlarged Europe. To pave the way for this participation, the candidates are already involved, as observers, in a number of IDA working groups of national experts, responsible for areas such as network security and e-Government portals. Moreover, information events have been held in several candidate countries and other events are being organised, to raise awareness of how the IDA II Programme works and how candidates can best benefit from taking part.

For a full description of IDA actions, see

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