eGovernment Action Plan: two years on

It is already two years ago that the eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020 was published, as part of a package of initiatives that aim to realise the Digital Single Market (DSM). A lot has happened since then. What has been achieved?

The eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020 has become an even more ambitious action plan than a year ago. At the occasion of the DSM mid-term review, 5 actions have been added to the Action Plan The five actions are:

It is possible to add new actions to the Action Plan due to the dynamic and flexible approach of the Action Plan. To keep track of the fast changing environment actions can be proposed by the Commission or by stakeholders. So let us know if you have good ideas for new actions!

All actions of the Action Plan are completed or on track!

One example of an action that was achieved this year was the action to submit a proposal for a Single Digital Gateway. A proposal for the Single Digital Gateway regulation has been submitted and much has happened since then. The Council has agreed on a general approach and the Parliament has adopted its report and agreed to start the interinstitutional negotiations, which are currently ongoing. The draft Regulation - in its article 12 - sets out the basic principles for cross-border implementation of the Once-Only-Principle, which allows European people and businesses to request that the information that they have already provided to their national administration be electronically transferred to a public administration in another Member State whenever such information is needed for an administrative procedure. The proposal has a direct link to once only principle of the Action Plan.

Furthermore, the action on accelerating the take-up of eIDAS services has been completed. The Member States have also taken significant steps in the take-up of eIDAS. Germany has notified its eID scheme and Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and Croatia are currently in the notification process for their eID schemes. As Germany has already finished notification of its eID scheme, this means that from 29 September 2018 (the date that the eID part from eIDAS starts applying) a German eID can be used across Europe to access public services. This is great news! However, as Vice President Ansip stresses in his blog, Member States are encouraged to speed up the voluntary notification of their eID schemes.

In fact, Member States have committed to speed up timely implementation of eIDAS, including notification of eID schemes, in the Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment. The Tallinn Declaration was signed on 6 October 2017 by all EU and EFTA ministers responsible for egovernment. In the Tallinn Declaration they confirm their commitment to strive to be open, efficient and inclusive, providing borderless, interoperable, personalised, user-friendly, end-to-end digital public services to all citizens and businesses. In doing so, they commit to the vision laid down in the EU eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020.

In addition and perhaps more importantly, the declaration also includes very concrete actions that the signatory states will take in the upcoming five years to further accelerate the digital transformation of governments. The Tallinn Declaration gives new impetus to the efforts and actions ongoing and planned at the local, regional, national and EU level to serve and deliver value to citizens and businesses.

The Tallinn Declaration puts citizens and businesses at the centre of public service services provisioning. The annex of the Tallinn Declaration includes user-centricity principles for the design and delivery of digital public services.  These principles are relevant for all levels of government. That is why the Commission, together with stakeholders, is developing a quality label for user-centric cities and regions. A first co-creation workshop has already taken place and the next workshop is planned for 23 May 2018 in Brussels. You can find more information and register here.

This quality label connects with the work of the different initiatives on digitalising local and regional administrations. For most citizens and businesses the local, or regional, government is the first point of contact. Therefore, it is important that local and regional administrations work to fulfil the principles of the eGovernment Action Plan. There are many initiatives that are helping the local and regional administrations to achieve this. An example is the Urban Agenda, which has developed a digital transition action plan.

What’s next?

The Member State representatives of the eGovernment Action Plan Steering Board are discussing possible new topics for action. New topics for possible actions include digital skills for civil servants and personal data management.

Furthermore, the Commission, in cooperation with stakeholders, is continuing the work on developing a quality label for user-centric cities and regions. The label will be launched in September.

We are looking forward to continuing cooperating with you to pursue the objectives of the eGovernment Action Plan!