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Interoperability by Default

Interoperability by Default

Last modified: 23.05.2019

CMI was main organiser of the seminar “Interoperability by default – the implementation of CEF building blocks” 24 April 2019 in Tallinn, Estonia, as part of the DIGINNO project. Public & private participants from seven countries and the European Commission

  • got an insight in the EU process and implementation of CEF building blocks in the member states
  • discussed challenges and how cross-border collaboration could help tackling these challenges
  • discussed policy recommendations to address to national and EU levels.

CEF Building blocks

The CEF programme (Connecting Europe Facility) is launched by the European Commission to support development of a digital infrastructure. The building blocks aim to facilitate delivery of digital public (and private) services across borders by ensuring interoperability between IT systems so that citizens, businesses and administrations can benefit from seamless digital public (and private) services wherever they may be in Europe. The building blocks offer basic capabilities that can be used in any European project to facilitate the delivery of digital public (and private) services across borders.

Key takeaways

The seminar confirmed a relatively high adoption of CEF building blocks in the EU member states. In particular the private sector can see the need and also parts of the public sector find them useful. However, important challenges must be addressed to improve the uptake and improve interoperability:

  • The uptake varies from one country to another. Each country tends to “pick and choose” depending on national approach, awareness, interest and thematic priorities, leading to a heterogenous implementation
  • Building blocks are mostly adopted for domestic use, only very few for cross-border use. This seems to be due to lack of incentives in some parts of the public sector where the need is not acknowledged
  • What is mostly needed is a cross-border service as a good business case. Once countries agree and prioritise a number of cross-border services, only then technology/infrastructure comes into play. This is what the DIGINNO project is doing: Selecting four services, agree on process architecture and then considering which technical infrastructure to use, thus testing how countries can agree on cross-border priorities and improve interoperability.

Further information: Torben Aaberg, WP4 Lead, toraa@cmi.aau.dk