The ITRE committee adopted, at its meeting on 27 July 2023, its report on the Interoperable Europe Act. The report includes a number of recommendations directly put forward by the CoR opinion, namely 6 CoR amendments exactly copied/pasted from the final opinion and 5 CoR amendments more freely taken up. Moreover, it should be noted that the opinion of Ms Karjalainen within the Fit4Future Platform was also reflected in the original legislative proposal.
The European Parliament, at its plenary sitting on 13 September 2023, confirmed an ITRE committee decision to enter Trilogue negotiations with the Council and the European Commission, with aim of the current spanish Presidency of the Council to conclude them by the end of November 2023.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- notes that certain aspects of the proposal need to be reinforced and fine-tuned, in particular as regards new tasks for subnational authorities, the resources provided in order for them to be able to swiftly and efficiently implement interoperability solutions, and a balanced governance structure that respects the principle of subsidiarity and the different models of governance in the Member States, and allows local and regional authorities to have a say on the pace and degree of implementing interoperability solutions;
- notes that the development and implementation of common interoperability solutions will entail significant financial and staff costs for local and regional authorities; stresses that this includes the need to develop and invest in new interoperable solutions or to start transforming existing systems. To this end, funding sources such as the Digital Europe programme should help local and regional authorities to cover the associated costs;
- calls on the Interoperable Europe Board to provide specific information on when the mandatory interoperability assessment will take place and what factors may trigger such an assessment, for example in the case of public procurement; also stresses that it should not be mandatory to undertake the interoperability assessment until the relevant guidelines have been adopted by the Interoperable Europe Board;
- reiterates the critical importance of interoperability for the digital resilience and strategic independence of the EU: by having interconnected services and systems, a potential digital pandemic as a result of a major cyber-attack on the weakest spot of the network needs to be prevented by using the same or similar solutions across interconnected entities. At the same time, using open-source solutions will decrease dependency on major suppliers of software solutions, thus increasing the strategic independence of the EU.