EU spaffs €131m on making gov digi services 'talk' to each other

Is that the whiff of personal data flying through the electronic ether?

Sick of filling out online forms in triplicate for basic government services? So are EU officials.

The EU is to spend €131m to make eGovernment services in different countries “talk” to each other.

Ministers from member states, led by the Luxembourg presidency, and MEPs on Wednesday agreed to extend funding to the ISA² (Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations) programme to help public administrations provide interoperable digital services for citizens and businesses.

The new programme, which will run until 2020, will support electronic interaction across borders and sectors, in areas such as government, health, invoicing and procurement.

It could, according to the EU, also help modernise public administration at European level.

“Administrative procedures have the reputation of being lengthy, time-consuming and costly,” said the EU in a rare flash of insight. “Electronic collaboration between public administrations can make these procedures quicker, simpler and cheaper for all parties concerned, in particular when transactions need to be done cross-border and/or cross-sector.”

The text still has to be confirmed by member states’ ambassadors, but appears now to be a mere formality. Ratification is likely to happen at their next meeting on Wednesday. ®

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