Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

The single digital gateway

The single digital gateway

The single digital gateway will facilitate online access to the information, administrative procedures and assistance services that citizens and businesses need to get active in another EU country. By the end of 2020, citizens and companies moving across EU borders will easily be able to find out what rules and assistance services apply in their new residency. By the end of 2023 at the latest, they will be able to perform a number of procedures in all EU member states without any physical paperwork, like registering a car or claiming pension benefits.

A single point of access to information, procedures and assistance services online

The single digital gateway will guide citizens and companies to information on national and EU rules, rights and procedures and the websites where they can carry out these procedures online. And users looking for assistance will be guided towards problem-solving services.

In practical terms, a search function on the ‘Your Europe’ portal will give access to:

  • Information. Citizens will be able to easily find reliable, qualitative information on EU and national rules that apply to them when they want to exercise their Single Market rights
  • Procedures. Citizens will find out exactly how to carry out administrative procedures and what steps they need to follow
  • Assistance services. If users are still confused about which rules apply or have trouble with a procedure, they will be guided to the EU or national assistance service most suited to address their problem

The quality, user-friendliness and adequacy of the information provided by the European Commission and by authorities in EU countries will be monitored on the basis of user feedback.

Digitised administration

The Regulation that brings the gateway into effect also requires that more administrative procedures can be performed online than currently, by users in their own country and cross-border users. By December 2023 at the latest:

  • A list of 21 important administrative procedures will be available fully online in all EU countries
  • All national online procedures will have to be made fully accessible to cross-border users
  • The ‘once-only principle’ (i.e. users should not have to submit to authorities documents or data already held by other authorities) will be applied to cross-border exchanges of evidence for a range of procedures. For these procedures users will be given the option to request the direct exchange of evidence between authorities in different member states

In addition, starting in December 2020, users will be able to provide feedback on the obstacles they may encounter in the single market with a view to improving policy making.

Background

EU citizens and businesses, especially those operating in another EU country, currently struggle to get a firm understanding of the rules governing their field of action or the steps required to carry out ordinary procedures.

Searching for information often proves to be a tiresome and confusing process. Results tend to be scattered around different websites that often lack any guarantee of quality or reliability. 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 for businesses and citizens. Cross-border users often run into obstacles with national administrative procedures because they only work with national phone numbers, postal codes or payment methods for example. Additionally, many citizens and companies are unaware of available assistance services when they try to solve their problems.

All these obstacles hold back the consolidation of a genuine single market where the 4 freedoms (the free movement of goods, services, capital and people) are fully ensured. It also hampers the establishment of a digital single market since it builds unnecessary online barriers between citizens of different EU countries.

To address these problems, the European Parliament and the Council 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.

Links

Contact

GROW-SINGLE-DIGITAL-GATEWAY@EC.EUROPA.EU