Feeds

Commission outlines how EU govts could standardise admin

Citizens may eventually be able to use govt services across borders

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The European Commission has published documents which it hopes will result in governments across Europe standardising the way they run their administrations. The Commission said the documents would help make government services interoperable.

The Commission's European Interoperability Strategy (EIS) and the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) will, it hopes, help EU citizens to interact with governments across the EU's 27 member states without having to negotiate different kinds of systems.

It hopes that citizens will use government services across borders in the way that some consumers use business and retail services across EU borders.

"More and more citizens and businesses are making use of the European single market's freedoms," said a Commission statement. "However, citizens are often obliged to contact, or even to travel to, public administrations abroad to deliver or collect information or documents they need to work, study or travel within the EU."

"In order to overcome these constraints (so-called 'e-barriers'), public administrations should be able to exchange the necessary information and cooperate to deliver public services across borders," it said. "That requires ensuring interoperability among public administrations."

Some of the problems of interoperability have already largely been solved, the Commission said.

"Interoperability has several dimensions: legal, organisational, semantic and technical," said the statement. "All of them are important, but thanks to the Internet and to the work of standardisation bodies and other organisations, significant progress has already been achieved in the area of technical interoperability, thereby ensuring openness, promoting reusability and fostering competition."

"The European Interoperability Framework paves the way for public administrations in the EU to use a common approach by adopting guiding principles to allow genuine collaboration between public administrations, while modernising and rationalising their systems to increase in a cost-efficient way their capability to provide high quality public services," it said.

The Commission said that countries were already working to make services interoperable between local, regional and national authorities, but that they should also be ensuring interoperability on an international scale.

"The European Union is about cooperating to create an environment in which citizens and businesses can thrive," said Commission vice president Maroš Šefčovič. "European public administrations have to lead the way in working together. This cannot happen without real, effective interoperability between public administrations at all levels."

Industry body Openforum Europe welcomed the parts of the framework which deal with the use of open technical standards to allow governments' computer systems to work together. Its members include Google, Oracle and open source software company Red Hat.

"EIF will help public authorities escape from the sort of technology lock-in into one single vendor that until now has been the norm across Europe," said Openforum Europe chief executive, Graham Taylor.

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.