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Brussels, 29 September 2008

Commission approves new programme to break down e-barriers

The Commission today approved a proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers on a new programme for the period 2010–15: “Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations” (ISA).

In recent years Member States have gradually transformed their administrations to provide public services electronically so that citizens and businesses can communicate fast and easily with their national administrations.

In today’s Europe, citizens are free to work in and re-locate to any EU Member State and companies carry out business across the EU. When doing so, they need to communicate with administrations of other Member States. Member States in turn need to communicate with each other to serve the citizens and businesses in the best possible way.

To avoid the creation of electronic barriers (e-barriers) between European administrations, the Member States and the Commission need to strengthen their efforts to ensure barrier-free communication within the internal market.

From red tape to e-barriers: changing challenges

Electronic barriers at national borders are the main challenge of the new era.

When setting up electronic public services to cut red tape and make communication with administrations faster and easier, Member States have mainly been considering the national dimension. However, to serve citizens and businesses in a Europe of mobility, Member States need to be able to communicate seamlessly across borders. Solutions developed without coordination at EU level may prove incompatible and unable to “talk” to each other. This is where the ISA programme steps in.

In response to the need for coordination and cooperation at EU level, the ISA programme proposes to establish and promote commonly agreed solutions to avoid e-barriers at national borders.

From needs to action: implementation of the ISA programme

Over the period 2010-2015, the ISA programme aims to support and promote cooperation between European public administrations.

ISA focuses on providing cross-border solutions for public administrations by making available common frameworks, common services and generic tools and promoting reuse as well as exchange of experience and good practices.

From IDA to ISA: background

ISA is the follow-on programme to the IDABC programme (interoperable delivery of pan-European e-government services to administrations, businesses and citizens) which comes to an end in December 2009.

The IDABC programme was itself launched in January 2005 as the successor of the IDA programme “interchange of data between administrations”.

The IDABC and IDA programmes have clearly provided added value to the exchange of information between administrations compared to what could have been obtained from a separate and uncoordinated approach.

The ISA programme will be based on the achievements of the IDA and IDABC programmes and will, as its predecessors, contribute to the further development and implementation of the European e-government strategy.

Futher information:

The IDABC programme

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