Interoperable Europe is an initiative of the European Commission for a reinforced interoperability policy in the public sector. It evolved out of the ISA² funding programme of the European Union that supported the development of digital solutions to enable public administrations, businesses, and citizens in Europe to benefit from interoperable cross-border and cross-sector public services. That programme finished at the end of December 2020.
The issue, of course, is still not solved, and so the European Commission and its partners in public administrations across Europe are now working under the label of Interoperable Europe to continue to enhance interoperability to unlock the potential of data use and reuse for improved public services.
A recent study by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) states that improved interoperability could lead to a reduction in the time citizens spend every year with the administration by 25%. This would result in time savings of 24 million hours (about 2738 years) and monetary savings in the order of EUR 543 million per year. For business, the savings could reach up to EUR 568 billion annually.
Interoperable Europe will lead the process of achieving these goals and creating a reinforced interoperability policy that will work for everyone. It is committed to introducing a new cooperative Interoperability policy Directive for Europe that will transform the public administrations and help them in their digital transformation. The initiative is supported by the Digital Europe programme.
As part of this wider push for interoperability the Proposal for a European Interoperability Framework for Smart Cities and Communities (EIF4SCC) was published in May 2021. The aim is to focus on the specific needs and opportunities that interoperability provides in the local context. The Proposal is being discussed through the Living-in.EU community and other fora, with a view to its adoption as an official Commission document, based on users’ and stakeholders’ feedback.
By complying with the EIF4SSC, cities can more easily benefit from solutions developed elsewhere and solutions providers would have access to a large potential market for their products.