Electronic interchange of data between administrations: IDA programme

Electronic interchange of data between administrations: IDA programme

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Electronic interchange of data between administrations: IDA programme


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Electronic interchange of data between administrations: IDA programme

The IDA (Interchange of Data between Administrations) programme aims to promote the development and operation of trans-European telematic networks for data interchange between Member State administrations and/or the Community institutions.

Following on from the first IDA programme, the second phase of the programme (IDA II) was launched in 1999, with the adoption of the two present decisions. The programme has been redirected towards the market and interoperability, with a view to increasing the efficiency of the delivery of on-line eGoverment services to European businesses and citizens.
The IDABC will take over from IDA II when it expires on 31 December 2004.


Decision 1719/1999/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 1999 on a series of guidelines, including the identification of projects of common interest, for trans-European networks for the electronic interchange of data between administrations (IDA);


Decision 1720/1999/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 1999 adopting a series of actions and measures in order to ensure interoperability of and access to trans-European networks for the electronic interchange of data between administrations (IDA) [See amending acts].


The first phase of the programme (IDA I), which started in 1995 (Decision 95/468/EC), contributed to the establishment of large telematic networks in the areas of employment, health, agriculture, statistics and competition.

Areas of intervention

The IDA II programme supports the implementation of projects of common interest relating in particular to the development and creation of telematic networks in the area of Community policies such as Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), consumer protection, health and transport.


The objectives pursued by the Community with the IDA programme are:

  • to achieve a high degree of interoperability between the telematic networks in the Member States and between the Community and the Member States;
  • to make such networks converge towards a common telematic interface between the Community and the Member States;
  • to achieve benefits for Member State administrations and the Community resulting in particular from the streamlining of operations, a reduction in maintenance, speeding up the implementation of new networks and the provision of safe and reliable data interchange;
  • to extend the benefits of these networks to EU businesses and citizens;
  • to promote the spread of best practice and encourage the development of innovative telematic solutions in administrations.

Eligibility criteria

Projects must be in the area of Community policies and activities.

Priority is given to projects improving the economic viability of public administrations, European institutions, the Member States and regions which, by setting up or developing a sectoral network:

  • help to overcome the obstacles to the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital;
  • contribute to the successful implementation of EMU;
  • promote institutional cooperation between the Community institutions and between those institutions and the national and regional administrations;
  • help to safeguard the financial interests of the Community and Member States and combat fraud;
  • contribute to preparing for EU enlargement;
  • promote the competitiveness of Community industry and, more particularly, small and medium-sized businesses;
  • benefit EU citizens.


The principal beneficiaries are the national or regional administrations of the Member States and the Community institutions.

Community financial contribution

The costs of carrying out IDA projects are borne by the Community in proportion to the likely benefits for it. The estimated budget for the period 1999-2004 is about EUR 24 million per annum.

General implementation framework

IDA projects are broken down into four phases as follows:

  • a preparatory phase leading to a preliminary report on the objectives, scope and purpose of the project (in particular the anticipated costs and benefits);
  • a feasibility phase leading to the drawing up of a global implementation plan;
  • a finalisation and validation phase which may include small-scale testing, evaluation and control of the solution proposed for the networks concerned;
  • an implementation phase consisting of starting up the networks concerned.

Accession countries

Following amendments made to the Decisions forming its legal basis, the IDA programme is now open to the accession countries. On 24 April 2003 Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Malta, Estonia and Cyprus signed memoranda of understanding with the European Commission formalising their participation in the IDA programme. By signing the memoranda of understanding, these countries can take part in the programme on the same conditions as the members of the European Economic Area. They will also contribute to the annual IDA budget. The other accession countries and the three candidate countries (Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey) are set to follow in the course of 2003.

Link to the eEurope Action Plan

In January 2002 the IDA programme also became the instrument for implementing the e-government chapter of the eEurope 2005 action plan. The IDA programme supports the development of services geared to safe and efficient electronic data interchange between the various levels of administration. These are essential for providing modern on-line public services, as provided for in the eEurope 2005 Action Plan.

Under the IDA programme, the Commission has set up and funded for the last two years a secure network communications infrastructure for data interchange (TESTA – Trans-European Services for Telematics between Administrations) between practically all the administrations of the Member States – and soon of the accession countries as well – and the European institutions. With the development of e-government projects, the TESTA network will be able to support pan-European services for citizens and businesses. IDA also funds the TESS (Telematics in Social Security) programme.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 1719/1999/EC [adoption: co-decision COD/1997/0340] 03.08.1999 OJ L 203 of 03.08.1999
Decision 1720/1999/EC [adoption: co-decision COD/1997/0341] 03.08.1999 OJ L 203 of 03.08.1999
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2046/2002/EC [adoption: co-decision COD/2001/210] 20.11.2002 OJ L 316 of 20.11.2002
Decision 2045/2002/EC [adoption: co-decision COD/2001/0211] 20.11.2002 OJ L 316 of 20.11.2002

Related Acts

Report [COM(2003) 100 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Commission Report of 7 March 2003 to the European Parliament and the Council – IDA II Mid-Term Evaluation.
This mid-term evaluation report contains a number of recommendations as follows:

  • there should be greater emphasis on a cost-benefit analysis of projects;
  • a description of an infrastructure should be drawn up to serve as a platform for the development of projects of common interest and other sectoral networks;
  • the assistance from the IDA team to the various sectoral administrations participating in the programme should be further strengthened;
  • the size and complexity of procedures for implementing projects should be reduced. Streamlining procedures would enable administrative overheads to be reduced and data collection to be improved;
  • there should be a continuously maintained register (matrix) of the horizontal action and measure outputs and the projects that use them, incorporating contact details for the IDA and sectoral project managers.

Decision 2004/387/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on the interoperable delivery of pan-European eGovernment services to public administrations, businesses and citizens (IDABC) [Official Journal L 144 of 30 April 2004].
The new IDABC (Interoperable Delivery of pan-European eGovernment Services) programme has the objective of delivering pan-European on-line eGoverment services to public administrations, businesses and citizens.
This programme is a follow-on to the IDA II programme which ended on 31 December, 2004. The IDABC programme was therefore be launched on 1 January 2005 for a period lasting until 2009.

IDABC is a broader eGovernment programme that will cover the objectives of the present IDA programme. It will, however, go further in also establishing pan-European eGovernment services for businesses and citizens. The new programme will be made up of two strands:
– projects of common interest in support of sectoral policies;
– horizontal measures in support of interoperability.

Furthermore, the scope of the IDABC Programme is broader in as far as it encompasses networks as well as services and extends the benefits of the interaction between administrations to businesses and citizens. Finally, increased funding should be available to ensure efficient, effective and secure interchange of information, taking full account of the linguistic diversity of the Community. More specifically, the Commission proposes that the IDABC programme be endowed with a budget of just over 148 million euros, of which 59 millions for the period up to 31 December 2006.

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