With sufficient funding European Interoperability can become a reality
Digital transformation of public administrations remains one of the four fundamental points of the EU Digital Compass and Member States are investing intensely in the digital transformation of their public administrations. Yet while an increasing number of services provided by the EU public sector become digital, in many cases, their level of interoperability continues to be insufficient. Accordingly, on 18 November 2022, the European Commission proposed a text for an Interoperable Europe Act.
As rapporteur for the CoR opinion on the Interoperable Europe Act Michele Pais presented his opinion to members of the CoR plenary session, who voted on it unanimously. The opinion stresses the importance of an enabling financial commitment by the Commission to ensure that local and regional authorities have sufficient resources to set up a system of EU-wide interoperability governance, regardless of size or location. It also calls for a clear governance structure, insisting that local and regional authorities should have the final say on the pace and scope of interoperability, in line with the principle of subsidiarity
In his speech, ECR Member and President of the Regional Council of Sardinia highlighted that the Interoperable Europe Act is a key pillar of Europe's digital future – "I am confident that bringing digital solutions closer to the people must begin on the level of regions, and advance from the bottom-up. It must reach the farthest, most remote corners of Europe, including islands, and mountainous areas, because in the European Union, no citizen, and no region can be left behind. Local and regional authorities should be enabled by appropriate financial support to take their services to the next level.".
The opinion calls for sufficient financial support to train staff and help local and regional administrations ensure that their systems are interoperable with those of other local authorities, regional authorities, nationally, as well as those of other EU countries and those of collaborating companies and suppliers, highlighting that peripheral regions, such as island or mountain regions, are often not properly integrated in mechanisms of digital cooperation.