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Specific programme of research and technological development (EEC) in the field of telematic systems in areas of general interest - Support for the establishment of transeuropean networks between administrations -, 1990-1994

The completion of the Single European Market defined in the Single European Act of 1989 and reinforced by the Maastricht Treaty 1992 inevitably creates new needs for information exchanges between Member States of the European Community. The free movement of persons, goods, services and capital, coupled with increasing economic and social cohesion in the Community, implies that Administrations can provide their services to citizens, business and other Administrations throughout the Community. In this respect, Administrations can play a key role in overcoming the non-technical barriers in the Community and, as leading-edge users, contribute to the improvement of an essential service infrastructure for business and the economy in general.

The present action, part of the specific programme of research and technological development in the field of telematic systems in areas of general interest (1990-1994) under Area 1: "Support for the establishment of transeuropean networks between administrations", aims to establish a full definition for an "Overlay Network" which would be implemented on the existing European telecommunications infrastructure, thus enabling inter- administration communications to take place in Europe.

In preparation for the launching of the work in this area, the Commission invited interested parties to contribute to the definition of the Workplan within the framework of a Planning Exercise. This Planning Exercise included three complementary consultative processes, an open invitation, the collaboration of some 300 organizations in Technical Panels and the consultation of the Commission services.

Depending on the nature and urgency of the requirements, three categories of actions have been identified:

- Immediate requirements to be met on the basis of the existing service and equipment offerings;
- Medium-term requirements which could benefit from pre-competitive and pre-normative R&D and demonstration of the application feasibility in the form of pilot projects;
- Requirements which depend on new technology which will not be available for some time.

The priority subareas are those most closely linked to the completion of the internal market. In the first instance work may concern such areas as customs, social services, emergency services and statistics.

Close collaboration will be maintained with the other areas of the Telematics Systems of General Interest programme (AIM, DRIVE, DELTA, ORA) and also with the relevant actions in other programmes and other Community actions (INSIS, CADDIA, TEDIS, ESPRIT, RACE). In addition there is a strong user link to each of the ongoing ENS/Administration projects.
To define common requirements for electronic information exchange and to examine the need for interoperability between electronic information networks with Member States; to carry out studies and pre-normative research for the definition and subsequent establishment of the trans-European telematic services networks essential to national administrations for the completion of the single market, for the provision of the services necessary to the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital and for increasing economic and social cohesion in the Community.
Two priority subareas:

- Identification of needs and implementation strategies:
Exploratory actions to examine selected areas linked to the completion of the single market, including an assessment of the changes in the exchange of electronic information brought about by increasing interaction between national administrations, an assessment of the needs of the users of this information to accommodate these changes and an assessment of the role of research and development in meeting these needs;

- Development of the technologies relating to telematic services and validation of common functional specifications:
Studies and research into the architecture and management of transeuropean networks in order to achieve the performance and reliability required to satisfy the specific needs of each administration, concentrating initially on interoperability, common standards, architecture and functional specifications, user acceptability, data integrity and confidentiality.
The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme, in close collaboration with the Telematics Management Committee (TMC), the ENS Ad-Hoc group, relevant experts and other official bodies.

The programme comprises research and technological development (RTD) projects and accompanying measures.

Projects are organized around Application Pilots. Each project represents a specific application, within the scope defined by the Council Decision, and is directed at demonstrating the viability and benefit of applying transeuropean telematics services to the particular area. Projects collaborate through regular concertation meetings as well as mechanisms within specific "horizontal" projects, to ensure cross fertilization and a broad dissemination of the information and knowledge gained.

The accompanying measures will include assessments of technology developments and usage trends; economic and social impact assessments; production of technical and public information documents; the organization of coordination meetings, seminars, workshops, summer schools and other specialized training activities.

The projects are the subject of shared-cost contracts, with Community financial participation not normally exceeding 50%. Universities and other research centres have the option of requesting, for each project, either 50% funding of total expenditure or 100% funding of the additional marginal costs. Contracts relating to shared-cost research projects must as a general rule be concluded following a selection procedure based on calls for proposals published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. Projects must, as a general rule, provide for the participation of at least two partners, each independent of the other, established in different Member States.

The Commission is authorized to negotiate, in accordance with Article 130n of the Treaty, international agreements with third countries which are members of COST, in particular the member countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, with a view to associating them with the whole programme or a part of it. Where framework agreements for scientific and technical cooperation have been concluded between the Community and European non-Member States, bodies and enterprises established in those countries may, on the basis of the criterion of mutual benefit, be allowed to become partners in a project undertaken within the programme.

No contracting body based outside the Community and participating as a partner in a project undertaken within the programme may benefit from Community financing for this programme. The body concerned shall contribute to the general administrative costs.