In its communication, the European Commission sees basically a need for interoperability at three different levels:
> interoperability of administrative processes (called organisational interoperability) for:
> “life-time events” for citizens – birth, marriage, social security, etc.
> “business-events” – setting up a company, paying taxes, participating in procurement activities, etc.
> Understanding each others information (called semantic interoperability): The systems must “understand” each other's language. For example, birth certificates are rather standardised documents but they look very different from country to country.
> technical interoperability: The computers must be able to “talk” to each other. This is the interoperability level that is normally tackled via standardisation.
The goal of this communication is to call upon the Member States as well as industry to collaborate to make this interoperability happen. Therefore, the Commission wants to work with the Member States to set priorities, publish policy documents/guidelines and technical recommendations and to encourage standardisation. More concrete steps will be developed following the eGovernment action plan (part of the i2010 initiative) that will be proposed in the coming months.