How Corona changed the work in LRI MS Connection 2

Mathias Maurer, Katri Tammsaar
A Spiral Staircase - A Photo by Gabriel Gheorghe

In March 2020 Europe transitioned into a lockdown phase where travelling was very much restricted (amongst other restriction measures). At the same time the project LRI MS Connection 2 was expected to be kicked-off. Soon after it became clear, that travelling to partner countries was not possible for an uncertain period of time. The project partners had to find other approaches to carry out the tasks otherwise planned to täke place as face-to-face meetings.

Launching a Project in Lockdown

The face-to-face kick-off meeting itself had to be cancelled. Yet it was fairly well substituted by a videoconferencing event. The following event - the first workshop dealing with the knowledge transfer from the first LRI project to the second had originally been planned to take place in April. Regarding the planned workshop the project partners soon came to the understanding that a full two-day videoconferencing event would not have been feasible. Again, an alternative approach was sought to provide solid conditions for the two main aspects of the workshop:

  1. Transfer of the knowledge and experience gained during the first LRI project to the added partners of the second Project.
  2. Presentation of the findings of each partner country during the analysis activities of their national land registers.

Whereas the initial presentations of Member States' land registers at the kick-off meeting had been done by splitting all the presentations into two separate video conferences, then the workshops planned to follow the kick-off as a next step of the project, for the transfer of knowledge would have needed much more time and interaction for reflection, and arising questions and discussion.

Web-meetings instead of Workshops

For the purpose of continuing the Project with an analysis activities and replacing the face-to-face meetings with web-meetings, the issues to be discussed were split into 6 different web-meetings, which would be held over several following months. The web-meetings would cover the following topics of deeper analysis:

  1. Identification of user groups and necessary user roles
  2. Authentication and authorisation of the users
  3. Current national search forms and available data
  4. Land register documents and file formats
  5. Linking of the LRI-search forms to the national data
  6. Payment for the land register data and documents via LRI service

An initiating web-meeting was to be designed for introducing each topic. Then 3-week time period was introduced between each of the web-meetings for initial analysis and awareness building. The partners would take a close look of the issues related to the topic in their countries and analyze the current situation. Support and experience exchange would be provided by all partners and especially by Austria and Estonia.

Based on the information gained during the analysis of each topic the common understanding of the requirements would be drawn for the best design of the land register interconnections between the Member States and the central LRI service at the European E-Justice Platform.

Launch of the Web-Meetings

The first web-meeting on the identification of land register user groups and user roles took place on 11 May 2020. Estonia and Austria were presenting the findings of the previous project LRI MS Connection and the current research questions to the circle of current partners.

The next web-meeting will be taking place on 4 June 2020. The issues related to user authentication and user authorisation at national land registers will be discussed in order to discover best possible methods for the envisioned LRI service.  

The success of this method will be demonstrated in the following months. Still, all partners approved of undertaking the proposed working method, being hopefully as feasible as possible in the given situation and as long as the travel restrictions in Europe will remain.