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Internal Market Information System (IMI)

The Internal Market Information System (IMI) is an IT application that connects national, regional and local authorities across the EU (EEA). IMI allows authorities to communicate quickly and easily with their counterparts abroad.

Main features:

  • a multilingual search function to help authorities identify their counterparts in other EEA countries
  • pre-translated questions, answers and forms for requesting and sharing information, in the context of administrative cooperation supporting the Single Market
  • an integrated machine translation service for translating any free text included as part of an information exchange
  • a tracking mechanism allowing authorities to follow the progress of their information exchanges

IMI and the Single Market – why does it matter?

In the area of the Single Market, Union laws set out mutual assistance and administrative cooperation obligations for Member States in order to make free movement of people, businesses and goods a reality. IMI helps authorities across the European Economic Area to fulfil these obligations in multiple policy areas. It has succeeded in modernising cross-border administrative cooperation and improving the functioning of the Single Market. Although the end-users of IMI are public authorities at national, regional and local level, the beneficiaries of this improved cooperation are businesses and citizens who are the subject of the information exchanges.

Key messages

  • Almost 300 000 information exchanges have been sent through IMI since its launch in 2008. Use of the system increases steadily, year on year.
  • The overall performance of countries in using IMI during 2020 has noticeably increased compared to the previous year.
  • As of 2020 IMI is used for 2 new policy areas, namely for the Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) network and European Judicial (EJN) in civil and commercial matters, contributing further to the rationalisation of IT tools provided by the Commission.

Overall performance (all 5 indicators combined)

 
 
Map Legend

A Member State’s performance across all indicators is calculated by scoring each of the 5 indicators listed in the chart “Performance per indicators” below as follows:

  • red = -1
  • yellow = 0
  • green = +1

The colours on the map represent the sum of these scores:

  • green: 2 or higher = above average
  • yellow: -1, 0 or 1 = average
  • red: -2 or lower = below average

Performance indicators

 
[1] Speed in accepting requests (% accepted within 7 days) ≥ 80 60 – 79 < 60
[2] Speed in answering requests (avg. no. of days taken to answer)  < 16 16 – 25 > 25
[3] Requests answered by the date agreed in IMI (%) ≥ 80 60 – 79 < 60
[4] Timeliness of replies as rated by counterparts (% of negative evaluations) < 5 5 – 14 ≥ 15
[5] Efforts made as rated by counterparts (% of negative evaluations) < 5 5 – 14 ≥ 15

The performance indicators are based on information requests sent in the following legal areas: Professional Qualifications, Services, Posting of Workers and Patients’ Rights.

Indicator [1]: Speed in accepting incoming requests (within 1 week)

This chart shows:

  • total information requests received by authorities
  • total information requests accepted within one week by authorities
  • acceptance speed: percentage of requests accepted within one week
 

Figures are based on requests for information in the following areas: Professional Qualifications; Services; Patients’ Rights and Posting of Workers (concerning postings, health and safety, working conditions and establishment). Requests withdrawn within one week are excluded, unless they had already been accepted by the recipient.

Indicator [2]: Speed in answering requests

This chart shows for all areas:

  • total information requests received by authorities
  • average number of days taken to reply
All legislative areas
 
Professional Qualifications
 
Services
 
Patients’ rights
 
Posting of Workers
 

Figures are based on requests for information in the following areas: Professional Qualifications; Services; Patients’ Rights and Posting of Workers (concerning postings, health and safety, working conditions and establishment). Figures include requests for which a response was provided.

Indicator [3]: Requests answered by the date agreed in IMI

When sending a request, the authority indicates the date by which it needs an answer. The responding authority can either accept this date or propose a new one. This chart shows:

  • the number of requests received by National authorities
  • the number of requests answered on time
  • the percentage of requests answered on time
 

Figures are based on requests for information in the following areas: Professional Qualifications; Services; Patients’ Rights and Posting of Workers (concerning postings, health and safety, working conditions and establishment). Figures include requests for which a response was provided.

Indicator [4]: Timeliness of replies (as rated by counterparts)

 

Figures are based on an optional survey completed by the sender when they close a request for information. Figures are based on requests for information in the following areas: Professional Qualifications; Services; Patients’ Rights and Posting of Workers (concerning postings, health and safety, working conditions and establishment).

Indicator [5]: Efforts made (as rated by counterparts)

 

Figures are based on an optional survey completed by the sender when they close a request for information. The survey covers requests for information in the following areas: Professional Qualifications; Services; Patients’ Rights and Posting of Workers (concerning postings, health and safety, working conditions and establishment).

Priorities

In 2021, the Commission aims to focus its efforts on preparing the implementation of IMI for various areas, most notably for:

  • better enforcement of the posting rules of drivers involved in European road transport by digitalising the information exchanges therefore making these more efficient (Directive 2020/1057 and Regulation 2020/1055);
  • additional administrative cooperation provisions set out in the Firearms Directive (Council Directive 2021/555/EEC) related to refusals to grant authorisations to acquire or possess firearms

The Commission will also work on the “new look” IMI information request forms for existing legal areas and further improve user support.

Facts and figures

  • Almost 35 000 public sector officials in over 12 000 public authorities are registered as users in IMI.
  • 81 700 exchanges took place in 2020, representing a 47% increase compared to 2019. The total number of exchanges sent through IMI reached now 296 000.
  • The European Professional Card continued to deliver excellent results, although only available for five professions (pharmacists, nurses, physiotherapists, real estate agents and mountain guides), with 1828 decisions being taken on EPC applications in 2020.
  • 8400 alerts were sent in IMI in the area of Professional Qualifications.
  • A total of 44 600 notifications were sent through IMI in 2020.

Statistics on the use of IMI

All information exchanges in IMI, 2008-2020
 
IMI requests per quarter, 2016-2020
 

* Other areas: Public Procurement, Patients’ Rights, e-Commerce, Train Driving Licences, Cultural Objects, Public Documents, GDPR.

** In the area of Posting of Workers, figures include information requests concerning postings, health and safety, working conditions and establishment as well as requests to send documents.

IMI requests in 2020 by sending Member State
 

* Other areas: Public Procurement, Patients’ Rights, e-Commerce, Train Driving Licences, Cultural Objects, Public Documents, GDPR.

** In the area of Posting of Workers, figures include information requests concerning postings, health and safety, working conditions and establishment as well as requests to send documents.

IMI requests in 2020 by recipient Member State
 

* Other areas: Public Procurement, Patients’ Rights, e-Commerce, Train Driving Licences, Cultural Objects, Public Documents, GDPR.

** In the area of Posting of Workers, figures include information requests concerning postings, health and safety, working conditions and establishment as well as requests to send documents.

For more statistics, see the IMI website.

Achievements

  • IMI now supports 67 cross-border procedures in 17 legal areas, replacing the need for at least 17 different IT systems
  • As of 17th January 2020, the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network uses IMI, replacing thus a former IT system. Read more
  • In 2020, a pilot project was launched in IMI for exchanging information and cooperation between the contact points of the European Judicial Network (EJN) in civil and commercial matters.
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