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Co-creation between public administrations: once-only principle
Deadline: May 24, 2016  

 Single Market
 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Some of the main benefits of co-creation in public services are personalised approaches that appropriately suit the needs of citizens and businesses. A challenge for co-creation in the public sector is organising the collaboration between the different actors, including between public administrations themselves, in order to share information, knowledge and resources. Co-creation across borders contributes to achieving an effective Single Market.

Co-creation and collaboration between administrations can improve their efficiency and effectiveness by opening up and sharing knowledge and resources with the aim to unlock productivity improvements and foster the creation of more public value. Public administrations and government agencies can re-use the data already in their possession on citizens and businesses, under the control and consent of citizens and businesses, by sharing it between themselves. This can allow them to provide administrative services in a pro-active manner. Administrative burden of citizens and businesses will be reduced, legal obligations will be fulfilled faster and citizen services will be simpler and less cumbersome. Applied on a wide scale it can lead to a smart, inclusive and effective "Once Only principle"[[The "once-only" principle in the context of public sector can be defined as that citizens and businesses should supply certain standard information only once to a public administration. Public administration offices take action to internally share this data, respecting data protection rules.]] at European level.

In order to preserve privacy of citizens and business confidentiality, administrations would open up their information to another administration under the control and the consent of the citizen or business, in line with the EU's Data Protection legislation.


In order to facilitate this personalisation and improve user experience, increasing digitisation of public services and the providing of key data only once with public administrations are important aspects. Its implication is that relevant public authorities need to cooperate not just at national level but also cross-border at EU level and share such data in a secure and user-friendly manner, respecting data protection and privacy and the sensitive nature of some of this data.

a) Innovation Actions

The countries participating in a proposal – covering the diversity of approaches across the EU - will need to enable the exchange of information or documents of businesses between their public administrations. The users, public administrations in the EU, will engage in the co-creation process, in order to collaboratively elaborate a common architecture. The project will enable the interaction and co-creation based on the existing national systems, and will re-use when relevant existing cross-border services, in particular services operated by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) telecom programme. To demonstrate the robustness and the benefit to businesses the project must pilot the system for at least 12 months in real conditions. The free access to the foreground must be guaranteed to enable access by any Member State to the results specifications. The project will also identify the drivers, barriers, potential vulnerabilities and legal issues (such as legal barriers or gaps) for the implementation of the once-only principle for businesses across borders in Europe. The ultimate aim is that businesses should supply information only once to any public administration in Europe. Public administration offices take action to share this data also cross-border, thereby contributing to making the Digital Single Market a reality. The specific administration processes for businesses for piloting purposes will be identified in the proposal, building from a number of use cases.

The large scale pilot (IA) shall include a minimum of six relevant national administrations (or legal entities designated to act on their behalf) in at least six different EU Member States or Associated Countries.

The Commission expects to finance only one project under this action.

b) Coordination and Support Action[[This activity is directly aimed at supporting the development and implementation of evidence base for R&I policies and supporting various groups of stakeholders. It is excluded from the delegation to Research Executive Agency and will be implemented by the Commission services.]]

Proposals for a Coordination and Support Action will support networking, discussion, exchange of experience and planning for the implementation of the cross-border application of the once-only principle for citizens, taking into account data protection aspects and the control and consent of citizens. The proposals will need to develop a strategic stakeholder engagement plan and roadmap for future areas of action.

The Commission expects to finance only one Coordination and Support Action for a maximum value of EUR 1 million.

Expected Impact:

Proposals need to demonstrate that they can achieve impact, which could be expressed, inter alia, in terms of time savings, administrative burden and cost reduction for businesses, improved service quality and administrative efficiency. Additional impact may be a step towards the 'whole-of-government' approach where the public sector acts as one entity, especially in its interactions with other actors including citizens and businesses.

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