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Towards user journeys for the delivery of cross-border services ensuring data sovereignty

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ACROSS (Towards user journeys for the delivery of cross-border services ensuring data sovereignty)

Reporting period: 2021-02-01 to 2022-01-31

Interoperable cross-border public services lie at the heart of a functioning single market. But today, only 43% of essential public services can be accessed online by cross-border users, against 81% of national services. However, this is all about to change. The Single Digital Gateway will become operational in 2022, and the forthcoming digital eID wallet proposed by the European Commission and currently under discussion in the European Parliament will make public services securely accessible throughout Europe.
In this context, ACROSS envisions to provide an integrated ecosystem to co-design, co-create and co-deliver user-centric, accessible, interoperable, and regulation-compliant cross border digital services while assuring data sovereignty and control to the citizens. ACROSS will be developed and tested in three countries: Greece, Germany and Latvia, will address and analyse the technological, organizational, administrative, semantic, and legal aspects, providing evidence for delivering more efficient cross-border mobility services to the citizens.
ACROSS is a consortium of 10 teams from 7 EU countries formed by recognized research institutes (TECNALIA, FhG), large companies (ENG), SMEs (WAAG, ATC, time.lex LC) and Public Administrations or ICT providers of public administrations (VARAM, GRNET, Dataport).
Coordinator contact Details

Company name: Athens Technology Center S.A. (ATC)
Address: Rizariou 10, Halandri 15233 Greece
Tel: +30 210 6874300, Fax: +30 210 6855564
Coordinator name: Ms. Anna Triantafillou (e-mail: a.triantafillou@atc.gr)
The first reporting period covers the period from 1st February 2021 and ends on 31st January 2022. These dates in project months correspond to M1 to M12 inclusive, respectively. This first reporting period has crystallised the project approach and has demonstrated the initial value of the ACROSS approach. Overall and as contractually foreseen in the first reporting period, the project managed to achieve the following:
- Definition of the User Journey Methodology: A co-creative approach has been followed aiming to lead the development of a governance model for the project. This process started by considering shared values within the consortium, as well as identifying the gaps in cross-border services through the investigation of four European wide cross border initiatives: the Single Digital Gateway act, the Your Europe Portal, the European Student Card Initiative, and eIDAS. In addition, the partners identified the relevant gaps per country through an inventory of public services and interviews with potential end-users. The analysis resulted in the definition of a common User Journey approach as the average user journey, which consists of specific steps.
- Collection of the personal data governance framework requirements from four different perspectives: the end-user perspective, the public/private services point of view, the applicable legal framework and the technical implementation perspective. Several European initiatives and a set of base technologies have been analysed and a first version of the personal data governance framework architecture has been defined.
- Definition of the legal requirements in relation to the ACROSS project and its general functional and infrastructural vision. The legal requirements are gathered directly from applicable legislation regarding data privacy and e-Government.
- Definition, specification and early implementation of a set of tools and technological solutions that implements the borders of ACROSS Platform;
- Definition of the ACROSS platform architecture in terms of the supported functionalities, the respective processes and the components, taking into account also external inputs on initiatives and regulations in the context of provisioning of cross border services.
- Use case definition and planning through the gathering of qualitative data from interviews and an analysis of the existing digital environments. Out of six individual use case scenarios, two common migration scenarios were created: moving abroad for working and studying. Based on the information collected, each pilot partner examined the execution of these scenarios in their respective countries in the current environment.
- A dissemination & communication strategy has been developed and fine-tuned for the project, covering all important aspects from defining suitable target audiences to how to best address these audiences via online and offline communication.
- Analysis of the potential users/customers’ needs and identification of the ACROSS value proposition, including a SWOT and PESTL analysis and the definition of the Key Exploitable Assets of the project.
- Preparation and edition of the first policy brief based on the project's initial outcomes. The policy brief highlights the significance of cross-border services and why such types of services are so crucial to the EU and all the member states. It also focuses on the most prominent barriers hindering the advancement of such services and also presents how cross-border services should be designed.
- A wide range of ethics outputs have been created and detailed in 13 deliverables. The deliverables contain a series of data protection policies and templates, building on best practices, and acknowledging the high standard of knowledge and experience already available with many ACROSS partners.
ACROSS focus on the design and further implementation of a User Journey methodology to define cross-border life event. A co-creative approach was taken aiming to lead the development of a governance model for the project. This process started by considering shared values within the consortium, as well as the identification of gaps. By the combination of both of these analyses (gaps and shared values), the consortium came to define a vision for ACROSS as an experiment in radical decentralisation. During the governance workshop (November 2021, Amsterdam), consortium partners converged on this vision in which personal data held and collected by the ACROSS platform is minimal, and can demonstrate the potential for cross-border data sharing within the EU that adheres to principles of privacy and digital identity protection.
ACROSS is also compromised to design, implement and deploy a comprehensive “private/personal data” governance framework that allows the citizens to control how their data are created or used by businesses, governments or data brokers, in line with the requirements of the GDPR.
Another important progress is the development of a novel governance model for the delivery of digital and mobile cross-border public services in the form of “User Journey”, user-centric oriented, integrated with SDG and compliance with the OOP. This will be achieved through the connection of public services in a way that they can interoperate with services from other countries as well as with those of the private sector. Private-sector services and offerings will be included and supported within ACROSS to increase the efficiency of public-private partnerships. Some existing base technologies, in line with the main objectives of the project, are used and evolved within ACROSS to complement the existing and ongoing activities in line with SDG, OOP and eIDAS principles and regulations.

[1] https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/data-governance-act
ACROSS Conceptual Architecture