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Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union
The annual semantic interoperability conference SEMIC promoted the interoperability of European administrations

Ministry of Finance
Publication date 21.10.2019 13.22
Press release
Gertrud Ingestad.
Gertrud Ingestad, Director General, European Commission

Society is becoming more networked and digitalised faster than ever before and increasingly relies on information and data and on the knowledge and services derived from them. The annual SEMIC conference in Finland brought together around two hundred experts interested in topics related to the semantic interoperability of information.

The SEMIC conference is part of the European Commission's ISA² programme, which aims to improve cross-border digital cooperation. The 9th SEMIC conference showcased how information could be used more efficiently as a key competitiveness factor.

“We have considerable information resources in our public administration. By making it easier to use them, we can increase the value of knowledge capital and, at the same time, create new opportunities for business, research and education. Moreover, we can develop better services for our citizens, improve decision-making, and make administrative procedures more efficient and more transparent. That is why it is important to work together in unity in the EU to advance interoperability,” said Senior Adviser for Legislative Affairs and Head of Unit Sami Kivivasara, in his opening address.

"The European Commission's Digital Agenda for Europe is also based on the premise that we must be able to make better use of information between the Member States. Besides closer cooperation between the Member States, the public and private sector also need to work together more closely”, Director General Gertrud Ingestad from the European Commission continued.

Finland at the leading edge in utilising data

At EU-level, open data is promoted actively and in a networked way. In Finland, Ministerial Adviser Riitta Autere, sees Finland as a frontrunner.

“Finland’s profile is that of a forerunner in digital public services and interoperability. We have been active in the ISA2 programme that promotes interoperability. International comparisons also show that we have made progress in opening up our data resources; in fact, high-quality data resources are one of Finland's strengths. However, so that the Member States can work together more closely, we need common practices and structures in the Member States and wider use of existing best practices,” Autere said.

The conference was co-organised by the European Commission's ISA² programme and Finland, which holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union until the end of the year.


Riitta Autere, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 2955 304 36, riitta.autere(at)