The Tallinn Declaration and Governments of the future: interoperable and digital by default

06 October 2017

Author: OpenForum Europe

On 6 October 2017, ministers from 32 European countries agreed on a forward-looking declaration, the ‘Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment’. This Declaration, which was signed during the Ministerial Meeting which took place in the framework of the eGovernment Ministerial Conference in Tallinn, is completely supported by OFE, as we have been a long-time supporter of an open government which puts the principles of Openness and User-Centricity at the forefront. The Estonian Presidency undertook a public consultation during the first half of July 2017 to gather input.  Consistent with its long-time support, OFE provided feedback for this consultation, underlining the importance of Open Standards to support interoperability, and the opportunity for Open Source to underpin critical infrastructures and empower the Public Sector to innovate and develop cutting edge e-Government solutions. We are glad that these principles are reflected in the Declaration.

Particularly relevant for OFE is that the Declaration explains that for the principle of interoperability by default, signatures will work on national interoperability frameworks based on the European Interoperability Framework (EIF), while respecting also the relevant national standards, and that signatures will adhere to the EIF for cross-border digital public services.

This being said, ‘not even the good plans survive to reality’. Specifically, the concrete steps proposed in the Declaration will need to be implemented in order to deliver their full potential. In order to discuss the next steps towards a borderless government and to share experience across European public administrations,  OFE will be hosting a Round Table  on 11 October. This event will seek to touch upon some of the most recent ICT digital trends in the Public Sector and to examine ways to implement the principles agreed in Tallinn. Please register here by close of business on 9 October, and explore with us the commitments stated in the Declaration, and how they might best be implemented.