As part of efforts to digitalise the Single Market, the European Commission presented a proposal on 2 May for a regulation on establishing a single digital gateway.
Its aim is to significantly improve online availability, quality and accessibility of information, assistance services and procedures. In addition, the proposal aims to cut red tape and modernise administrations.
Significance for public administrations
Digitalisation has led to a dramatic increase in the potential for quickly getting information. Today, it is extremely important to be able to search for accurate, appropriate and easy-to-understand information on the internet, as well as to have the possibility to look up and carry out administrative procedures. It is assumed that all data be available across borders and languages.
This also affects public administrations in Europe. It is expected that they be just as user-friendly and intuitive online as is usually the case in the private sector.
However, many of the national administrations in the Member States have already actively set up national eGovernment strategies. Nevertheless, the availability of online services varies between the Member States, they are in different stages of advancement and they are rarely linked with one another. National and cross-border, multilingual services (e.g. Your Europe Advice, Solvit) are not well-known, often fragmented and of inconsistent quality. Thus, what is currently available in terms of online information, assistance services and online procedures is not always geared towards users’ needs.
For example, a pensioner’s delayed payment in another Member State must be clarified with several administrations because bodies such as the pension insurance funds, the health insurance funds, the registration offices and the tax offices of both countries must be informed.
The European Commission’s objective
The Commission wants to address these issues and has therefore proposed establishing a single digital gateway that ensures all data are made available across borders and languages regarding information, assistance and problem-solving services, and procedures.
Taking into consideration the services directive, the single market strategy and the eGovernment action plan, the Commission’s proposal for a new regulation is intended to build upon existing services in order to further improve the functioning of the single market for all EU citizens and businesses.
The project will be driven forward step by step through close cooperation with the Member States. It is also possible that a coordination point will be established which could possibly be compared with the EUGO Network.