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Single digital gateway: one-stop shop for online paperwork

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Single digital gateway: one-stop shop for online paperwork

Image by Petr Novak, Wikipedia

(BRUSSELS) - The EU Council gave its green light to a single digital gateway Thursday, a one-stop shop for the EU's most common administration procedures, helping people to interact with public administrations.

The gateway, which will use the existing name "Your Europe", will offer access to online information and procedures, assistance and problem solving services to individuals and companies.

"The single digital gateway will be an additional powerful tool available to individuals and businesses which are exercising their freedom of movement and establishment in another member state," said Austria's Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Margarete Schramboeck, for the EU presidency: "Online access to information and procedures will become readily available to everyone on equal terms."

The online gateway, which will have an interface easy to use and available in all official EU languages, will integrate a number of networks and services that have been established at national and EU level to provide support for cross-border activities.

The interface will provide a central access point for information on the exercise of rights to mobility in the EU, and will ensure full access to various online procedures in a non-discriminatory way. A basic principle of the gateway is that any procedure available to citizens of one member state should be equally accessible to those from other member states.

Some key administrative procedures will be available online to both national and cross-border users. These cover situations which are relevant for doing business, working or studying or moving from one location to another, for example: requesting a proof of residence, applying for study loans and grants, recognition of academic titles, getting a European Health Card, registering a motor vehicle, claiming pension benefits and registering employees for pension and insurance schemes.

The new gateway is expected to help reduce administrative burdens. As a general rule, the single digital gateway will apply the "once-only" principle, which means that individuals and businesses will only have to supply the same information once to public administrations.

The online system is expected to save people 855,000 hours and businesses EUR 11 billion a year, according to Elzbieta Bienkowska, the EU's Commissioner responsible for the internal market.

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.

Text of the regulation

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