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The need for cooperation is particularly intense in the European Union. The citizens of the European Union are often forced to interact with the administrations of other member states other than their own; the administrations of different Member states must cooperate with each other to solve problems of citizens, as well as with the Community institutions for questions concerning common policies. Interoperability is an essential element for cooperation and, in particular, for implementing digital public services.

In this context communautaire interoperability is relevant in general for the realization of the principle of only once (once-only principle) and specifically for areas such as internal market, environment, justice, customs, taxation, health, food safety, European funds, public sector information, electronic identity, standardization TIC, statistical and procurement.

Consequently, the achievement of interoperability between administrations is considered in the European Union as an essential aspect to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the provision of services, while sharing and reuse interoperability solutions that already exist can help contain the multiplication of costs. This important role of interoperability comes up in various Community acts as, among the most recent, the European Framework of interoperability (Opens in new window) , Tallin Ministerial declaration , Decision ISA ² (Opens in new window) and Action Plan of electronic administration 2016-2020 (Opens in new window) among other players.

In particular, the Ministerial declaration of electronic administration of Tallin , adoptada el 6 de octubre de 2017, refuerza el compromiso con los principios del Action Plan of electronic administration 2016-2020 (Opens in new window) e incluye entre sus líneas de acción las relativas al principio de solo una vez y a la interoperabilidad por defecto, para promover, esencialmente, la reutilización de datos en los registros primarios, así como de soluciones provenientes tanto del ámbito comunitario ( CEF Telecom and ISA ² (Opens in new window) ), as the administrations of member states.

Contribuyen particularmente a la interoperabilidad en la UE las acciones del program ISA ² (Opens in new window) , digital services and infrastructure basic components (building blocks) result of the instrument Telecom CEF (Opens in new window) , así como de otras actuaciones en curso como la normalización TIC.

The Program ISA ² (Opens in new window)  (Soluciones de interoperabilidad y marcos comunes para las administraciones públicas, las empresas y los ciudadanos europeos) vigente en el período 2016-2020, continúa la labor de programas previos (IDA, IDA II, IDABC, ISA) para promover la interoperabilidad en la UE; facilitar una interacción electrónica transfronteriza o intersectorial eficiente y eficaz tanto entre las AA.PP. europeas como entre ellas y las empresas y los ciudadanos, y contribuir al desarrollo de una administración electrónica más eficaz, simplificada y orientada a los usuarios en los niveles nacional, regional y local de la administración pública; promover soluciones de interoperabilidad que faciliten la ejecución de las políticas y actividades de la Unión; y facilitar la reutilización de las soluciones de interoperabilidad por parte de las AA.PP. europeas.
ISA ² (Opens in new window) with its financing promotes an extensive collection of actions that include:

  • maintenance of the strategy, the framework and the European architecture of interoperability;
  • promoción de soluciones de interoperabilidad existentes y nuevas, y su reutilización;
  • mechanisms to quantify cost savings due to the interoperability;
  • detección de lagunas legislativas en materia de interoperabilidad y evaluación de las implicaciones en materia de TIC de la legislación comunitaria.

The Observatory national frameworks of interoperability ( NIFO – National Interoperability Framework Observatory (Opens in new window) ) is an action of Program ISA ² (Opens in new window)   (Opens in new window) que realiza el seguimiento por parte de los países europeos de las siguientes cuestiones:

  1. The main activities on interoperability.
  2. The national interoperability framework.
  3. Alignment with the European Framework of interoperability (Opens in new window) .
  4. Other initiatives on interoperability.

For each country prepares a tab (Opens in new window) based on an analysis of corresponding interoperability framework and activities relating through an analytical model which aims to show the state of the art.

The European Union launched in 2013 ‘ Connect Europa ’ mechanism (Connecting Europe Facility – CEF (Opens in new window) ) to finance the deployment of infrastructure pan-europeas for interconnection of member states in the fields of energy, transport and telecommunications. The domain of telecommunications, known as Telecom CEF (Opens in new window) , finances infrastructure development of digital services whose purpose is to enable digital interactions between public authorities citizens and businesses through standardized interaction platforms, cross-border and easy to use.

The infrastructure of digital services that have a more sectoral nature are: access to digital resources of European heritage; services infrastructure for a safer internet; European platform for the interconnection of business registers Europeans; access to public sector information reusable; and online services transboundary interoperable (in areas of justice, social security, etc.).
Además, ciertas infraestructuras de servicios digitales tienen el carácter de ‘componentes elementales’. Estos componentes elementales, son: identificación y autenticación electrónica; entrega electrónica de documentos; traducción automática; ciberseguridad; y facturación electrónica y archivo electrónico.

The European policy of normalization TIC is also a tool for achieving interoperability. Is exercised through the Regulation (HAT) No 1025/2012 (Opens in new window) on European standardisation and platform European Multi-stakeholder Platform on ICT Standardisation (MSP-ICT) (Opens in new window) who advises the commission, particularly in relation to the identification of technical specifications (Opens in new window) that may be referenced in public procurement.

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