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Re-users looking for data from other Member States: obstacles and remedies

In our travel around Europe to deepen how the rights to access and re-use of public sector information work, we have discovered that several countries have adopted peculiar systems that regulate the way in which the citizens can communicate digitally with the public sector bodies.

In other words, we have found that often the re-users have to use special emails and/or authenticate themselves using an electronic ID in order to send their PSI requests to the public sector bodies.

This is the case of Italy where citizens and enterprises have the obligation to use a certificated email (Posta elettronica certificata, PEC) to communicate with public administrations;  also  in Spain you have to go through a centralized authentication system (cl@ve) and provide your eID to communicate with a public administration. Other countries use a similar approach.

Although the adoption of new technologies to improve efficiency and optimal use of the resources is appreciated, it has also some side effects.

The main issue is the lack of interoperability between systems of different countries with the result that, for instance, may be difficult for a Polish re-user to get formally in touch with a col-md-ish public sector body.

To overcome this, on 23 July 2014 Regulation (EU) n. 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council was introduced. It is commonly known as “eIDAS-Regulation” where eIDAS stands for “electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services”.

 

The eIDAS Regulation provides a uniform and standardized legal framework for the acceptance of electronic signatures and identities.

Among other things, It foresees the mutual recognition of the electronic identification systems; the Member States may notify their eID system so that it can be recognised by other Member States after an in-depth peer-review process.

It has been fully in force since 1st July 2016. On 29th September 2018 the cross-border recognition of notified electronic identification systems (eID) has been started. The first Member States to complete the notification process are Italy and Germany, others, such as Spain, Estonia, Croatia etc., are following.

 

 An overview of the current state of the process is available on the CEF Digital Connecting Europe website.

 

Some leading European associations, projects and expert organisations in the sector of eID and trust have recently launched the go.eIDAS initiative to promote eIDAS in Europe and beyond.

 

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