The digitalisation of public services has been a priority for the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union from the beginning of its runtime. It complies with the EU goal to make European citizens’ lives easier wherever they live, work or travel. In order to do so, a Single Open Centralised Digital Gateway is being developed. A core principle of the gateway is that if any administrative service is available for a citizen in one EU member state, it should also be accessible to users from other member states.
Thanks to the Single Digital Gateway concept, data from national and EU level networks and services will be integrated in one user-friendly interface, accessible via a centralised web portal. It will feature all official EU languages and facilitate access to information, procedures and cross-border services. The internet portal will help to reduce administrative burden for citizens and businesses across the EU.
The Creation of the Single Digital Gateway is in line with the European Union’s Digital Single Market Strategy and the e-Government Action Plan 2016-2020. Recently, the European Council adapted the general approach on setting up the Single Digital Gateway and a proposal for a regulation on its establishment has been prepared. The document lays down rules for the use of procedures by users from different member states and supports the wide implementation of the once-only principle. If the European Parliament agrees on the Council’s position, the institutional negotiations under the ordinary legislative procedure should begin next year. „It is a new step towards the digitalisation of public services in cross-border situations and a further move towards making the digital Europe a reality […]”, says Kadri Simson, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure of Estonia.
From a TOOP perspective, the finalisation and adoption of the Single Digital Gateway Regulation will address a clear and obvious need, as it will provide the legal basis for the infrastructure required to implement the once-only principle on a pan-European scale. Based on the analysis of needs and requirements for the TOOP piloting efforts, a first statement on the regulation has been published here.