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Data interchange--IDABC.

IDABC stands for Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment Services to Public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens. It encourages and supports the delivery of cross-border public sector services to citizens and enterprises in Europe and fosters efficiency and collaboration between European public administrations.

Who can apply?

This programme primarily targets the public sector, particularly national authorities and EU institutions. Enterprises and organisations can also apply for some actions. Projects shall include as many participating countries as possible.

Previous programmes

The first programme on the interchange of data between administrations in the Community (IDA) started in 1995. The objective of the programme was to achieve a high degree of interoperability between trans-European telematic networks established between the EU Member States and the Community institutions to support the establishment of the economic and monetary union and the implementation of Community policies. The programme was prolonged to 2002 because the need for an exchange of information between the EU Member States had increased due to the mobility of European citizens. Consequently, citizens and enterprises should also benefit from the added value created by the increased interoperability of trans-European networks between the administrations of the EU Member States.

The EEA EFTA States have participated in IDA programmes since their beginning in 1997.

IDABC 2005-2009

The activities of IDA were taken over in 2004 by the IDABC programme. As the name indicates, the interchange of data between administrations, administrations and businesses, and administrations and citizens was put on an equal footing because administrative communication between these stakeholders has been increasingly taking place electronically and all administrations taking part in the European Economic Area would have to be reached through interoperable systems.

In order to achieve its objectives, IDABC issues recommendations, develops solutions and provides services that enable national and European administrations to communicate electronically while offering modern public services to businesses and citizens in Europe. But IDABC activities are not limited to producing guidelines, they also entail planning and implementing infrastructures to support interoperability.

The programme supports projects of common interest and horizontal measures:

* Projects of common interest (PCIs): IDABC is primarily a support programme for projects of common interest that implement European eGovernment services over 14 specific policy areas such as agriculture, education, transport and the environment to name just a few. More than 40 PCIs are being supported by the IDABC. Examples of PCIs are the ADNS (pan-European Animal Disease Notification System), CARE (Community Road Accident Database) or COWEBS (a multilingual Internet portal, that pools social security information for migrant workers from national and European sources).

* Horizontal measures (HM): interoperability is a key factor in all of IDABC's horizontal measure activities. The implementation of pan-European eGovernment requires the collaboration of public administrations in the 30 Member States of the European Economic Area and in the EU institutions. Horizontal measures develop technical specifications, standards and infrastructure components in order to ensure efficient cross-border service delivery. The horizontal measures pursue 6 different objectives:

--Horizontal Pan-European eGovernment Services (PEGS) cover horizontal services to businesses and citizens;

--Basic infrastructures provide the basis for reliable exchanges of information between public sector administrations;

--Security measures facilitate secure cross-border delivery of pan-European eGovernment services;

--Interoperability measures establish principles, provide guidelines and--increasingly--list specific technical solutions that improve crossborder eGovernment,

--Dissemination and spread of good practice measures promote and inform about IDABC activities (for instance in open source software);

--Strategic and support activities aim to improve the execution of the IDABC programme.

Duration of the programme

The decision on the present programme has been in force since 1 January 2005 and will end on 31 December 2009. However, due to the increasing importance of enhanced interoperability between administrations and the harmonised implementation of common procedures in all EU Member States with the European Economic Area, it can be foreseen that activities in this field will continue to be supported by Community programmes beyond this date.

EFTA good practice

SOLVIT, Effective Problem Solving in the Internal Market

SOLVIT is an alternative dispute resolution mechanism that was set up in 2002 to help EU citizens and businesses that have been denied the possibility to exercise their European Internal Market rights because a public administration in another EU Member State has misapplied Internal Market legislation. The SOLVIT system operates in all official languages of the EU, and has also been translated into Norwegian and Icelandic.

The system operates through a network of SOLVIT centres based in the national administration of EU Member States along with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Applicants should contact their local home SOLVIT centre, where the details of their complaint will be fully analysed. The home SOLVIT centre will then enter the case into an online database system, allowing it to be forwarded automatically to the "lead" SOLVIT centre in the EEA country where the problem occurred. The lead SOLVIT centre should confirm within one week whether or not it will accept the case. The target deadline for finding a solution to the problem is 10 weeks. The 2 SOLVIT centres involved liaise with each other during the period of investigation and the home SOLVIT centre keeps the plaintiff informed of any progress and proposed solution.

Technical development of the system and end-user training within national administrations are financed under the IDA programme.

Contact points


European Commission


SOLVIT Centre Iceland


Office of Trade and Transport


SOLVIT Centre Norway
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Title Annotation:Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment Services to Public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens
Publication:EFTA Bulletin (Switzerland)
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Nov 1, 2007
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