2018 eGovernment week and beyond: full application of eIDAS and “once only principle” set to trigger the digital transformation of public services

A number of events dedicated to eGovernment took place from the 24th to the 2nd of October all over Europe on the eve of an important milestone.


On 29 September, the eIDAS Regulation rules on cross border recognition of electronic identification means entered into force. From this date on citizens and businesses can use their electronic IDs (eIDs) recognised at national level - such as national electronic ID cards, citizen cards, bank cards, health cards etc  to access online public services in another Member State.

As of this day many new opportunities and benefits for citizens, businesses and member states  can become a reality from enrolling in a foreign university and opening a bank account to filing a tax declaration online without having to move from one country to another.

The recognition of eIDs under eiDAS is also key for the cross border application of the "once only" principle, one of the main elements of the recently agreed Single Digital Gateway. It will reduce red-tape for citizens and create savings for business of more than 11 billion per year.

And last but not least, the eIDAS Regulation enables citizens and business to rely on their eIDs and selectively disclose identity data which are absolutely necessary for any transaction. Thus, eIDAS makes it possible for our eID to "speak for us and not about us”.


Undoubtedly, on 29 September Europe made a big leap towards a safer and more trustworthy online environment.

The events aimed to mark this important milestone. They sent a clear message of the need to join forces to shape the digital transformation. That is why, I think it is important to congratulate their organizers and mention the events one by one:

This series of Conferences and Workshops were excellent opportunities to raise awareness about our achievements such as the eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020 and the Tallinn Ministerial Declaration on eGovernment Most importantly, they engaged stakeholders on some important questions:

  • What are the lessons learned in terms of modernizing public administrations? What is the way forward after the eGovernment Action Plan? How to move towards mobile Government?
  • How can we operationalise the Once Only Principle in more policy areas cross-border and across sectors?
  • How can we increase trust and convenience in the online world? How to incentivise private sectors, in particular online intermediaries, to allow citizens to use eID and trust services under eIDAS, in particular mobile ones?

Undoubtedly, there is a growing interest and demand for a permanent dialogue between stakeholders to envision how the digital transformation of public services will shape up and deliver value to citizens and businesses. Such a permanent dialogue will drive the digital and cultural transformation of the public sector putting our Citizens and businesses at the heart of the public service provision of tomorrow. And trust between Government and citizens is an essential precondition in this effort.

Let’s leverage the dynamism of these events and work together to turn this milestone into a new start and the seed for a regular and participatory “eGov week” across the EU.