“Justice goes online”

I am most pleased to introduce you to the third edition of the ‘Build, Connect, Grow’ WebZine of the European Commission. I met the Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Vice-President Neelie Kroes, at CEBIT 2012. We both share a keen interest in seeing the expansion of digital networks across Europe, providing citizens and businesses with more convenience, efficiency and security.

As the Minister of Justice of North Rhine-Westphalia, I am convinced that e-Justice – in tandem with other e-Services – will lead Europe to a strong future of sustained growth. At present, the effort to take cross-border legal matters to court is sometimes believed to outweigh the expected gains.

The goal of the e-CODEX project, of which my Ministry is an active stakeholder, is thus very challenging. It seeks not only to improve citizen and business cross-border access to legal means in Europe, it also seeks to to improve the interoperable exchange of data and processes between legal authorities within the EU. The project is now ready for the key phase: over the next 12 months, use cases will be tested in real life situations in the participating pilot countries.

Importantly, the e-CODEX project is building upon the successes already achieved by the other Large-Scale Pilots (LSPs) by using a variety of tested interoperable building blocks, from e-ID to e-Signatures. This collaborative approach highlights the coherence in the design and the appropriateness of the instruments established by the European Commission.

To help spreading the word what in terms of excellent results the LSPs have achieved, we are honoured to host the next stop of the LSP Roadshow, the IT Forum – Europe goes online – in Cologne, Germany. The forum will showcase the successes and positive results of all LSPs and highlight the piloting phase of e-CODEX.

Check out the articles inside – including an interview with the e-CODEX team – to discover more about new initiatives, from OpenPEPPOL through to SPOCS, epSOS and STORK 2.0.