eGoverment: Commission welcomes agreement on Single Digital Gateway

The Commission welcomes the vote today in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) of the European Parliament on the Regulation establishing a Single Digital Gateway, following the agreement reached by the co-legislators.

The gateway is part of the EU’s effort to make it easier for citizens and companies to benefit from all the opportunities that the Single Market has to offer. Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs said: “The initiative will greatly benefit EU citizens living, studying or working in another EU country and businesses which are active cross-border, but also the many people and companies who decide to stay in their home country. It is estimated that the gateway could help companies save more than €11 billion per year, and EU citizens up to 855.000 hours of their time annually.” The Single Digital Gateway will be a central, online and easily accessible entry point for people and companies looking for complete, accurate and up-to-date information, administrative procedures and assistance services linked to their Single Market rights. The gateway will not only provide citizens and businesses with information about applicable rules, but also direct them towards assistance services when further help is needed and allow them to complete national administrative procedures online. Any procedure currently available online for domestic users will be accessible to users from other Member States. Information and explanations will be made available in an EU language that is understandable for cross-border users. 21 key administrative procedures will have to be made fully available online, including requests for a birth certificate, to register a car, to declare income tax or enrol for university. The Single Digital Gateway will also reduce cross-border red tape by introducing the ‘once-only’ principle. This means that if citizens and businesses need to submit supporting data or documents as part of administrative procedures, they can ask for this to be exchanged directly between authorities. Overall, the gateway incentivises Member States to adopt ambitious e-government strategies to offer modern and efficient public service. An agreement was reached by EU negotiators only a year after the proposal was put forward by the Commission. Formal approval by the Parliament and the Council is expected in September. The Single Digital Gateway will be launched two years later in 2020. More information here.