On 27 September 2018, the Council adopted the Regulation on establishing a single digital gateway to provide access to information, to procedures and to assistance and problem-solving services and amending Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012. This was preceded by a proposal from the EU Commission from 2 May 2017 and approval by the European Parliament on 20 June 2018.
The single digital gateway will be called ‘Your Europe’ and will provide citizens and businesses with full access to various information and online procedures related to the EU’s internal market and cross-border activities. It will contain an integrated user interface that will be available in all official languages of the EU.
These are procedures from the most diverse areas of life such as changing residence and applying for proof of residence; starting a job or business activity (business registration), a university course and related applications for study grants or student loans; requesting recognition of academic titles; applying for a European health insurance card; registering a motor vehicle; accessing pension benefits; or registering employees with the statutory social security systems.
The aim of the new digital gateway is to minimise the administrative burden on all concerned and help those involved in cross-border activities. It will make it easier to contact individual authorities and speed up the transfer of data in cross-border cases.
The portal links various networks and services at national and EU level and ensures non-discriminatory access to all information and online services. The special feature of the portal is the basic principle of ‘once only’ which means that the same information only has to be provided and recorded once. In addition, procedures available in one Member State must also be accessible in other Member States.
The functioning of the gateway will be supported by technical tools developed by the Commission and national administrations.
The Regulation will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the EU. Subsequently, regional, local and national administrations have one, four or five years, depending on the circumstances, to make their services and information available online.