Answer given by Mr Šefčovič on behalf of the Commission
Concerning the first and the third questions, the Commission has undertaken extensive efforts to build integrated portals and information systems allowing to digitise its main procedures. These initiatives embed systematically electronic data and document exchanges between the Commission and members of the public or small and medium-sized enterprises. The Commission can accept documents in standard formats and in a number of other widely used formats.
The second question should be seen in the wider context of the Commission’s efforts to promote interoperability at the European level, more particularly through the Programme ‘Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations’ (ISA).
The Commission co-funds STORK (Secure idenTity acrOss boRders linKed), a project aimed at establishing an interoperability platform for European eID (electronic identity). This platform will allow citizens to establish new e-relations across borders, just by presenting their national eID.
The Commission operates itself numerous electronic services that require user authentication, ranging from services supporting communication between Member States to services for operations with the Commission. The European Commission Authentication Service (ECAS) performs user authentication for accessing many of these services. By integrating ECAS with STORK, Member States’ electronic identities can be used to access Commission services.
Last but not least, because electronic identity is a topic which requires international cooperation, the Commission has initiated discussions on this matter with a number of partners including the USA.
-  For example, the ‘Participant Portal’ for the grant management foreseen in the 7th Research Framework Programme. See http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal for further information.
-  Cf. Decision No 922/2009/EC. See http://ec.europa.eu/isa for further information about ISA and its predecessors.
-  See https://www.eid-stork.eu for further information about STORK.
-  See https://www.eid-stork.eu/pilots/pilot6.htm for further information about the integration between STORK and ECAS.
OJ C 285 E, 21/09/2012