Accessing and understanding information about public services and administrative issues and completing procedures with public authorities can be notoriously difficult and frustrating. This is especially the case in the EU, with 28 different national systems, making it especially confusing for citizens living or studying in another country or businesses looking to expand into a new market.
The Parliament’s internal market committee today backed the creation of a single digital gateway, to make it easier for citizens and SMEs do their paperwork online, and to find the administrative information they need wherever they are in the EU. The gateway will also help people interact with member states' administrations in cross-border situations by providing online access to key administrative procedures, so that citizens based in another member state, but also for those staying home, would be able to request a birth certificate, register their cars, declare their taxes, or enrol in public universities fully online.
The author of the Parliament’s report, S&D MEP Marlene Mizzi, said:
“We need to make it easier for citizens and businesses to access the public information they need in their everyday lives. The creation of a single digital gateway will allow people to access the information and procedures they need in a single place, regardless of where in the EU they are. It will mean that people will no longer need to trawl through hundreds of websites trying to find the information they need or lose hours in public offices applying to different administrative procedures. Instead, they can manage their online paperwork through a single digital entry point. So if you are living in a new country and want to understand your pension rights or taxation rules, or other information you may need as a citizens or a company, you know where to go to find the information.”
“This is an important step in creating a truly digital Europe that benefits everyone. It will help companies, in particular SMEs, looking to expand into another EU country, and it will also make the lives of citizens much easier.”
S&D Group spokesperson for the internal market, Nicola Danti, added:
“The digitalisation of government services through the proposal for a single digital gateway can help the Single Market reach its full potential. It can enhance citizens' understanding of their rights and obligations, and make interactions with public administrations more convenient for citizens and businesses. For the S&D Group it is of paramount importance that these benefits of digitalisation can be enjoyed by everyone. This is why we want to ensure that the member states will have information on national websites available in an additional EU language, and why we have proposed new provisions on the accessibility of the gateway for persons with disabilities.”