Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Which eGovernment services would you like to see available?

Article

--- Posted by Juan Arregui Mc Gullion, DG INFSO, Project officer ICT for Government and Public Services, Workshop organiser at the Digital Agenda Assembly

eGovernment is meant to make life easier for citizens and businesses. In many instances this is already the case. Thanks to smart use of ICT, public administrations are serving their citizens better and at less cost. But can the same be said when it comes to serving companies or citizens from other EU countries?

More than 600,000 people live in one EU country and work in another. They have to cope with different national practices and legal systems. Every year 350,000 Europeans marry a national of another Member State and 180,000 European students move to another Member State. Is eGovernment making their lives easier?

And what about businesses which want to sell their goods to public administrations in another country?  Or SMEs which want to expand to other markets in the EU?

These are just some examples of where eGovernment is still not working across borders as well as it should. Indeed, it can be said that it is putting up digital barriers where there are no physical barriers.

What services would YOU like to see available on-line when deciding to study, work, set up a business, reside or retire? Who do you think the main actors should be in this? Local authorities? National governments? The private sector? The European Commission? Civil Society? All of the above? Others?

No need to wait until the Digital Agenda Assembly and the eGovernment-related workshop on the 17 June to share your views (#daa11egov). Tell us NOW what you think should be done to reinforce the Single Market through the innovative use of eGovernment.

Your opinions, insights and experiences will form the starting point for the panel discussion and could very well influence the outcome of the deliberations!

In addition to this blog, we have opened a discussion forum where you can share your suggested topics for discussion with other stakeholders and vote on the contribution of others.

Comments

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The digital barriers are often along platform lines. It is not acceptable to lock out Mac users from a egovernment service, it is not acceptable to use patented interfaces and leave it to private third parties who can interface with the government, it is not acceptable to transmit user data to third nations. So what we need is a number of principles, practices and status quo review to gradually overcome technological discrimination. A model privacy policy for egovernment websites for instance would avoid made-up rules which do not suit the dignity of a public office. Copyright use licenses of egovernment website often do not conform the law which is more permissive. Uniform rules for re-use of egovernment content would be beneficial.