Public administrative procedures should be digitalised and cross-border communication between citizens and administrations should be made available online. These are the key points from a proposed regulation on establishing a Single Digital Gateway put forward by the European Commission in May last year.
Following the Council’s decision in November, the European Parliament has now expressed its thoughts on the proposal. On 22 February, the Internal Market Committee (IMCO) voted to accept the proposal, albeit with comprehensive amendments. Unlike the Council, the Parliament does not want to diminish the obligations of the Member States, but rather expand them.
The additions to the list in Annex II are particularly interesting. The list currently covers 13 procedures that the Commission has stated should be made available online to citizens in all Member States, even if they are currently not available at national level. The Parliament believes the list is not comprehensive enough. Its wish to make tax procedures available online in the future is particularly ‘sassy’. Changes have also been suggested with regard to retirement benefits. According to the Commission’s original proposal, people should be able to claim pension benefits online. However, the Parliament now wants it also to be possible for people to submit an online request regarding the status of their existing pension entitlements as well as information regarding the pension itself.
Negotiations between the Parliament, Council and Commission (trilogue) begin on 22 March with a focus on clarifying technical issues; negotiations will then continue at the end of April.