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The IDABC Programme (2005-2009)

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The IDABC Programme (2005-2009)

The IDABC programme (Interoperable Delivery of Pan-European eGovernment Services to Public Administrations, Business and Citizens) aims to deliver the services its title suggests. The goal is to improve the effectiveness of European public administrations and cooperation between them.


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].


IDABC is an eGovernment programme for the period 2005-2009.

It succeeds the Interchange of Data between Administrations programme (IDA), with a broader scope. It covers the objectives of the IDA programme but also aims to create pan-European eGovernment services for businesses and citizens.

IDABC forms part of the eEurope 2005 and i2010 initiatives Interoperability * and open standards remain priority areas, and are joined by the new pan-European services to be set up.


The IDABC programme aims to support and promote the development of pan-European eGovernment services * and the underlying interoperable telematic networks.

The programme also aims to:

  • enable the interchange of information between public administrations, as well as between such administrations and the Community institutions;
  • facilitate the delivery of pan-European services to businesses and citizens taking account of their needs;
  • achieve interoperability across different policy areas, notably on the basis of a European Interoperability Framework;
  • promote the spread of good practice and encourage the development of innovative telematic solutions in public administrations.

Projects of common interest and horizontal measures

The IDABC programme includes projects of common interest to help implement Community legislation and improve interinstitutional cooperation.

The programme also contains horizontal measures which aim to establish horizontal pan-European eGovernment and infrastructure services, particularly those promoting interoperability.

Implementation principles

The implementation of projects of common interest and horizontal measures should follow a certain number of principles, such that they:

  • are founded on a sectoral legal basis (for projects of common interest);
  • involve as many Member States as possible;
  • include, whenever appropriate, a preparatory phase and comprise a feasibility phase, a development and validation phase, and an implementation phase;
  • take other Community programmes into account to avoid duplication. These may be research and technological development programmes, or the eTen, eContent, eInclusion and eLearning programmes;
  • take account of the European interoperability framework provided by the IDABC programme;
  • make use of horizontal pan-European eGovernment and infrastructure services whenever possible (for projects of common interest);
  • carry out a post-implementation review of projects and measures within one year of the end of the implementation phase.

Implementation procedure

The Commission must establish a rolling work programme for the whole period covered by this Decision for the implementation of projects of common interest and horizontal measures.

Community financial contribution

Concerning the implementation of projects of common interest and horizontal measures, the Community bears costs in proportion to its interest.

For a project of common interest or a horizontal measure to receive a financial contribution from the Community, concrete plans for financing the maintenance and operational costs of the post-implementation phase are required. In the preparatory and feasibility phases, the Community contribution may cover the full cost of the necessary studies.

In the development, validation and implementation phases, the Community bears the cost of those tasks that are assigned to it in the global implementation plan of that project of common interest or horizontal measure.

International cooperation

The countries of the European Economic Area and candidate countries may participate in the IDABC programme within the framework of their respective agreements with the Community. Cooperation with other third countries is encouraged, notably with public administrations in Mediterranean countries, the Balkans and Eastern European countries.

Financial framework

The financial framework for the IDABC programme is set at EUR 148.7 million for the period from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2009.

Key terms used in the act

  • Pan-European eGovernment services: cross-border public sector information and interactive services provided by European public administrations to European public administrations, businesses and citizens, by means of interoperable trans-European telematic networks.
  • Interoperability: the ability of information and communication technology systems to exchange data and to enable information and knowledge to be shared.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 2004/387/EC



OJ L 144 of 30.4.2004


Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 29 May 2009 - Final evaluation of the implementation of the IDABC programme [COM(2009) 247 final – Not published in the Official Journal]. This Communication publishes the results of the final evaluation of the implementation of the IDABC programme. The evaluation focussed on aspects such as the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, utility, sustainability and coherence of the programme.

The conclusions were largely positive, even though the programme was delayed in 2005. The IDABC programme fulfilled most of the objectives in the area of eGovernment detailed in the i2010 strategy.

The ISA programme will follow on from the IDABC programme. The actions implemented under the framework of this future programme will principally cover:

  • the strategic environment in which the programme should operate;
  • the stakeholder communication tools;
  • the development of monitoring methods.

The future ISA programme will pursue the communication efforts of the IDABC programme.

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 24 October 2006 - Evaluation of the implementation of the IDABC programme [COM(2006) 611 final – Not published in the Official Journal]. This communication reports the conclusions and recommendations resulting from the mid-term evaluation of the programme.

The evaluation, which was largely positive, emphasised the relevance and utility of the IDABC programme. The stakeholders consulted feel that it contributes real value-added to the online supply of administration services. But the programme is still at an early stage of its implementation, and it is not yet possible to present an analysis of its implications in the Community or measure its effectiveness.

However, the evaluation has highlighted a few shortcomings which need to be considered in the further implementation of the programme. Accordingly, a number of recommendations have been drawn up, including:

  • ensure that all players know their part in the implementation process;
  • step up efforts to gather and disseminate specific and up-to-date information about users’ needs;
  • carry out an appraisal of the links between the various EU programmes within which the Community develops interoperable eGovernment initiatives.

See also

Last updated: 30.10.2009