On 24 February 2021, the EU4Digital Facility held a closing discussion on its eDelivery pilot activity to conclude the pilot results, and present the prepared recommendations and suggested way forward for the Eastern partner countries. The virtual event gathered more than 40 participants, including representatives from ministries and other relevant government bodies, private sector companies, cross-border eTrade working group members, eDelivery pilot observers, as well as the EU4Digital expert team.
Overview of the pilot concept
The event kicked off with a brief reflection on the eDelivery pilot concept and outcomes: eDelivery facilitates the delivery of digital services by enabling electronic data exchange across borders and sectors in an interoperable, secure and reliable way. For the Pilot purposes, it was chosen to test the exchange of electronic invoices, as the most relevant and used document among businesses in the EU and the Eastern partner countries. The piloting was limited in scope geographically and tested in the following two scenarios:
- EU Member State and Eastern partner country: between Polish (Agerona, Aryzta) and Ukrainian companies (Kernel, Premier Food). Read more here.
- Inter-EaP: between Armenian (Vedi-Alco) and Ukrainian companies (Alcoline). Read more here.
Besides the tremendous work and efforts put in by these companies, the pilot project could not have implemented without two other groups of stakeholders, namely the coordinating institutions – Ministry of Digital Transformation (Ukraine) and State Revenue Committee (Armenia) – as well as the eDelivery Access Point owners established during the pilot – State Enterprise “DIIA” (Ukraine) and EKENG (Armenia).
Feedback and future considerations
EU4Digital highlighted the key benefits of eDelivery, as emphasised by the pilot participants:
- more efficient and easy communication with cross-border business partners;
- improved security and transparency, and confidence among all participants;
- scalability – currently more than 35 countries worldwide have already deployed more than 600 eDelivery Access Points, including Europe, Australia, Canada, the USA, Singapore and many others. The solution can be used for numerous documents, including procurement, justice, health and others.
During the meeting, representatives from the pilot countries were invited to reflect on the pilot and share their plans on moving further with eDelivery. Michael Latynskyi from the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine once again confirmed Ukraine’s strong and positive position towards further development of the eDelivery solution. According to Mr. Latynskyi, “the pilot itself is not the end, and the biggest work is still ahead of us”. He highlighted that among the future plans is the improvement of capacities of the established eDelivery Access Point in Ukraine and the introduction of eInvoicing in public procurement, following EU practice.
Armenia’s representative from the cross-border eTrade working group – Kristina Mazmanyan – agreed that the solution’s benefits, showcased by the pilot, have encouraged Armenia to consider integrating the solution into the national tax system. Ms. Mazmanyan noted that Armenia will be exploring ways to integrate eDelivery with Armenia’s customs clearance system as well. Currently the State Revenue Committee is in the process of developing an action plan for the full eDelivery solution implementation in Armenia.
Introduction of eDelivery recommendations
To facilitate the adoption of the solution on a national level and further scale-up in other Eastern partner countries, the EU4Digital team has developed recommendations for the required legal, organisational and technical adjustments. The document has been shared with the countries and includes:
- Preparatory actions, which provide a step-by-step guide and key practices introduced during the pilot, for the countries willing to test out eDelivery following the approach applied by EU4Digital.
- Action plan guides non-pilot countries on eDelivery solution implementation by introducing needed steps, prerequisites and timeline to successfully carry out the activity.
- Roadmap section dedicated for specific pilot countries to highlight the specific legal, organisational and technical recommendations that would enable full-scale eDelivery implementation on a national level.
- eDelivery scale-up section explores the applicability of eDelivery solution in other domains.
To ensure the sustainability and continuity of the pilot results it is recommended for the pilot countries to follow the provided recommendations. Further bilateral cooperation opportunities should be explored by all Eastern partner countries. Following responses from the Eastern partner countries confirming willingness and readiness to start and continue developments of the eDelivery solution, EU4Digital will facilitate the initiation of further potential activities on bilateral level.