The single digital gateway facilitates online access to information, administrative procedures, and assistance services that EU citizens and businesses may need in another EU country. Access to the gateway is via a search function in the Your Europe portal, which has been providing EU and national information on the rights of citizens and businesses, as well as access to assistance services, since 2006.
Following the adoption of the gateway regulation in 2018, the European Commission and national administrations are developing a network of national portals to provide information for citizens and businesses on how EU rules are applied in each EU country for cross-border users, as well as on available assistance services. Since December 2020, some of these services have been available from the single entry point on the Your Europe portal. National websites participating in the gateway can be easily recognised by the presence of the Your Europe logo.
By the end of 2023, Your Europe will offer access to 21 online procedures in all EU countries, with procedures such as registering a car or claiming a pension being fully digitalised and eliminating the need for paperwork. The most important administrative procedures for cross-border users will be fully available online in all EU countries. A system to transfer documents needed for these procedures between national authorities in different EU countries will also be included. For example, a diploma obtained in one country can be shared with the national authorities of another, where it is needed to start a business.
To improve policy making, users are also able to provide feedback through the gateway on obstacles they encounter in the single market.
EU citizens and businesses, especially those operating in another EU country often struggle to understand the rules that apply to their particular case or the steps required to carry out simple procedures. Searching for information is often a tiresome and confusing process. Results tend to be scattered across different websites that often lack any guarantee of quality or reliability, and significant information gaps remain in many areas, leaving important questions unanswered. A number of procedures are still paper-based only or require queuing in an office, which can be a waste of time and money. Cross-border users also often run into obstacles with national administrative procedures because they only work with national phone numbers, postal codes, or payment methods. Additionally, many citizens and companies are unaware of available assistance services to help them solve their problems.
All these obstacles hold back the consolidation of a genuine single market where the freedom of goods, services, capital, and people is fully ensured. It also hampers the establishment of a digital single market by building unnecessary online barriers between people in different EU countries.
To address these problems, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted a regulation establishing a single digital gateway on 2 October 2018. The single digital gateway is expected to save companies more than €11 billion per year and boost cross-border activity.