The aim of the EU Commission’s EU eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020, released on 19 May 2016, is to accelerate the digital transformation of public administration. It details the principles necessary to achieve this as well as a specific timeline for Member States to follow when implementing their own eGovernment strategies. The plan has its origins in the EU’s Digital Single Market Strategy, where it was already mentioned. Its aim is to help eliminate existing barriers to the Digital Single Market and to avoid further fragmentation in the course of modernising public administration. Government authorities and other public bodies within the EU are supposed to offer fully digital public services to all people and companies in the EU by 2020. The following basic principles are included:


“Digital by default” means that services should be provided digitally; however, other channels should be kept open for those who cannot use digital services or do not want to use them. Access to all channels should be through a single contact point or person. The “once only” principle ensures that data provided to public administration offices can be re-used internally, provided that permission has been granted with regards to data protection rules.  


In addition to the principle of “Inclusiveness and accessibility”, the principle of “Openness and transparency” should result in public administration offices exchanging information and data between themselves, particularly in the context of “once only”. Citizens and companies should be given control over their own data (similar to being able to view one’s own paper file). 

The principles of “Cross-border by default” and “Interoperability by default” aim to prevent further fragmentation within the Single Market and avoid organisational and cross-border obstacles. The last principle of “Trustworthiness and Security” ensures that all measures and initiatives go beyond merely complying with the legal framework on personal data protection and IT security.  


What impact this will have on national planning of eGovernment strategies, particularly the German Social Insurance, will be examined subsequently.