Committee of the Regions opinion on trans-European data communications networks between administrations
At its third plenary session (17 May 1994), the Committee of the Regions adopted the following opinion on: - The communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on trans-European data communications networks between administrations; - The proposal for a Council Decision on a series of guidelines for trans-European data communications networks between administrations; - The proposal for a Council Decision adopting a multiannual Community programme to support the implementation of trans-European networks for the interchange of data between administrations (IDA). The aim of the communication and the two proposals is to formulate a set of measures to enable national administrations and Community institutions to process and interchange the information necessary for the functioning of the internal market and the implementation of common policies. This would be ensured by the establishment and use of appropriate trans-European data communications networks. The Committee endorsed the basic objective of the communication and the proposals in principle but stressed the importance of a "bottom-up" approach in setting up and implementing networks and projects. This means that applications in the administrations of the Member States should be considered and assessed first. Only then should interconnection and exchange systems be designed at Community level. The Committee felt that the information to be exchanged should be determined on the basis of the needs of the potential users. It also urged that regional and local bodies be involved in the implementation of the networks and projects and that they set up specific networks or projects to manage their common affairs. In addition, the Committee recommended that the IDA programme be accompanied by a policy of opening up access to information to the private sector and the individual citizen.