Single digital gateway: a one-stop shop for all your online paperwork

A one-stop shop for all of the EU's most common administration procedures will make it easier for people to interact with public administrations

A one-stop shop for all the most common admin procedures in the EU will simplify how citizens interact with public administrations. Photo by Chiheb Chakchouk on Unsplash
A new web portal will make common administration procedures much easier. Photo by Chiheb Chakchouk on Unsplash

Whether requesting a birth certificate or applying for a business permit, bureaucratic procedures can be cumbersome, especially when it involves another EU country. The new Single Digital Gateway system, which was approved by MEPs on 13 September, aims to simplify the most frequently requested administrative procedures, making them available online in all member states.

The web portal will be accessible through a single point of entry in all official EU languages using the Your Europe portal. It will provide access to procedures such as birth certificates, ID renewal, pension claims, business permits, European health card, study loans, applications for grants and recognition of diplomas. It will handle administration within national borders as well as between EU countries.

Maltese S&D member Marlene Mizzi, the MEP responsible for the file, said: “The new rules will make it easier for citizens and businesses to manage their paperwork online through a single digital entry point, which will provide access to administrative procedures and high quality information. The single digital gateway shall provide responsive, inclusive, borderless, user-friendly digital public services to citizens and businesses at national and European level.”

Member states will have to modernise systems to ensure they are fully accessible online, not only in the languages of the country, but also in at least one additional language. The online services must be of a high quality and accessible to people with disabilities.

The gateway should make life simpler: once people have entered a document in the system, they will not have to re-submit it. It will be re-used by the relevant public administration when necessary.

The online system will save people 855,000 hours and businesses €11 billion a year, according to Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the European commissioner responsible for the internal market.

Next steps

The new rules will still need to be approved by EU countries as well. Once the regulation enters into force, administrators will have five years to adapt. However, many services are expected to be available before the deadline expires.

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