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The National Contact Point (NCP) and the Framework Agreement (FWA)

Each PN is represented in epSOS by a National Contact Point (NCP).  An epSOS NCP is an organisation legally mandated by the appropriate authority of each PN to act as a bidirectional technical, organisational and legal interface between the existing different national functions and infrastructures. The NCP is legally competent to contract with other organizations in order to provide the necessary services, which are needed to fulfill the epSOS Use Cases. The epSOS NCP is identifiable in both the epSOS domain and in its national domain. It acts as a communication gateway and also as a mediator for L&R aspects of delivering epSOS Services. As such, an NCP is an active part of the epSOS environment if it is compliant to normative epSOS interfaces in terms of structure, behaviour and security policy compliance.

The FWA has been localised in the form of national level contracts in the piloting participating nations which are a pre-requisite to engagement in the pilots. The use of a common Framework Agreement (FWA) blue print as guideline for national contracts establishes the epSOS Trusted Domain amongst NCPs. This domain is considered to be an extension beyond national or regional territories where epSOS Services are physically provided. Its function is to ensure that epSOS Services can be delivered seamlessly to populations travelling between countries participating in the epSOS Large Scale Pilot. The FWA is used to establish the NCPs, govern the cooperative model of data exchange and form the documented basis for the trusted relationships between parties exchanging data. It also facilitates transparency to ensure that the legal rights of patients to data privacy can be maintained in a cross-border healthcare setting.

At the end of the pilot, the recommendations of the project will hopefully support the process towards a sustainable legal framework for longer-term operational cross-border eHealth services.