EP backs the Single Digital Gateway to ease cross-border activities for citizens and business
The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee today adopted a report on a new laws establishing the Single Digital Gateway, which will provide citizens and companies with safe, central a user-friendly online access to complete and accurate information, procedures, assistance and problem solving services.
Procedures available will cover situations which are relevant for moving, studying, working, starting and doing a business cross-border, such as registering a business, registering an employer/employees for compulsory pension and insurance schemes, applying for study loans and grants, recognition of academic titles, getting an European Health Card or registering a motor vehicle.
Main key points of the regulation are:
- To extend the scope of the proposal by introducing additional taxation-related administrative procedure to be available fully online;
- To limit the exceptions requiring physical presence (though here we did not get exactly what we wanted, but thanks to our pressure the original text is improved);
- To stress the essential role of the implementation and application of eIDAS;
- To strengthen the once — only principle, ensuring that users cold keep the control and ownership of their data; furthermore ensuring that the users are adequately informed about the option to activate the once-only principle for the procedures available fully online;
- Improving the quality of information by ensuring it is user-centric (information is provided in an efficient, easy and user-friendly manner);
- The statistics collected in relation to users visits to be made available in a standardized, aggregated and anonymous format as open data;
- Regarding cross-border online access to procedures: reference to addressing geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customer’ nationality, place of residence or place of establishment in the internal market.
SDG will be based on existing portals, contact points and networks, but it would improve and better connect them. The interface will be available in all EU languages. It will ensure centralized access by EU citizens and businesses to information they need to exercise their internal market rights, as well as possibility to complete some of the most frequently-used national procedures fully online. Any procedure currently available online for domestic users will be accessible in a non-discriminatory way to users from other EU countries and in one additional EU language.
MEP Kaja Kallas, ALDE’s shadow rapporteur on this regulation said:
“I want every EU citizen to be able to benefit from e-government services, and the Single Digital Gateway initiative is certainly a great starting point for that. I am also a strong supporter of the “once only” principle. If the government already has requested information from citizens, it should not ask it again. I want governments to work for citizens, not the other way around.”
The Single Digital Gateway responds to users’ needs in a digital world. It could help companies save more than EUR 11 billion per year, and EU citizens up to 855 000 hours of their time annually. The initiative will benefit those moving to or doing business in another EU country, but also the many people and companies who decide to stay in their home country. It also incentivizes Member States to adopt e-government strategies to offer modern and efficient public service. This service is expected to be online and available by 2020.
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