Feeds

Commission outlines how EU govts could standardise admin

Citizens may eventually be able to use govt services across borders

Boost IT visibility and business value

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.

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?