The European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCP) voted in favour late last week of creating a key internet-based data and info access point that will be known as the Single Digital Gateway, which will allow citizens and companies to broadly benefit from a specific outlet to solve 21 key administrative procedures such as filing birth certificate requests, registering a car, declaring their income taxes and enrolling in university.
“The gateway could help companies save more than €11 billion per year and EU citizens up to 855,000 hours of their time,” Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska added.
According to reports, users will be able to access the new portal in all of the EU’s official languages via the webpage ‘Your Europe’, where they’ll find updated information on administrative procedures and services.
In addition to the convenience of being able to process forms online, the Gateway will provide a traceable digital record of all filings and eliminate the need for multiple applications or forms for the same item in several EU countries. If authorities need to view a user’s filing, they simply need to access the digital record.
#SingleDigitalGateway report by MT Rapporteur @MarleneMizzi approved by @EU_Consumer Committee today: "an important milestone in improving and easing citizens’ interaction with public authorities through the digitalisation of public services" – Rapporteur Mizzi@YourEuropeEu pic.twitter.com/wQKuoyqCfl
— Parlament Ewropew MT (@EP_Malta) July 12, 2018
While many of the offerings are already available, the full rollout should ease usage and enhance the overall experience. The service is expected to pass during the next plenary session in September and be fully implemented sometime in 2020.
The passage of the SDG may perhaps represent a precursor to other similar initiatives—healthcare, for one—that would work to further centralize and unify the Union. Only time will tell.