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Opinion Number: CDR 152/2023
Rapporteur: PAIS Michele
Commission: ECON
Status: Adopted
Date: 24/05/2023
Understand and respond to the profound societal transformations that the digital, environmental and demographic challenges entail for building resilient regional and local communities
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.

- 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.



Agreement of the Council and of the European Parliament

The European Council and the European Parliament have reached a common position on the Interoperable Act.
The transcription of the final text of the Act is still in production and will be published later. The new Regulation will only enter into force after a certain period following the formal adoption. The Commission is already preparing the ground to ensure a smooth and timely implementation of the Act. The CoR is also internally defining procedures for its smooth participation in the newly created Interoperable Europe Board (subject to the final text of the Regulation).

14 Nov

Council common position on the draft IEA

On 6 October 2023, the Member States reached a common position on the draft Interoperable Europe Act. The Council’s text amends various parts of the Commission’s proposal. The main changes include:

  • a clearer definition of the scope of the proposed legislation
  • clarifications concerning the objectives and the conditions of the mandatory interoperability assessment with a view to complying with the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity
  • alignment with the artificial intelligence act (AIA) with respect to regulatory sandboxes and consistency with the general data protection regulation (GDPR)
  • a stronger role for the Interoperable Europe Board, which stands at the core of the new governance structure set up by the regulation.

The Council, in its position, put forward a number of amendments to the original text also inspired by the CoR opinion, in particular:
• Financial support opportunities to assist the implementation of interoperability solutions within Policy implementation support projects – exact wording;
• List of training initiatives to be supported by the Act – exact wording (including from the RegHub consultation);
• The role of the Interoperable Europe Board to also inform on relevant EU-funded projects and networks – exact wording;
• Proportionality in the approach to conduct interoperability assessments - key message taken up;
• The role of the Interoperable Europe Board to propose to the Commission Policy implementation support projects, including funding support – key message taken up.

06 Oct

Follow-up report of the European Commission

The European Commission, in its regular Follow-up Report, provided a number of comments relating to the policy recommendations of the opinion on the "Interoperable Europe Act", namely:

  • the proposal does not replace national or local responsibilities, but enables various entities to cooperate to pursue various objectives, in full respect of subsidiarity principle;
  • the voice of the local and regional authorities should be channeled through the CoR that will be represented in the future Interoperable Europe Board;
  • the proposal is agnostic in terms of funding for new tasks related to interoperability, but points out at a number of financial resources available at EU level;
  • the aim of the proposal is not to prescribe any interoperability assessment process, but to leave it up to each Member State to set up and decide its implementation;
  • the guidelines developed by the future Board, while certainly useful for the public administration at different levels, would not be binding.

20 Sep
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