Digital ministers signed the Tallinn Declaration on e-Government supporting once-only

On October 6th 2017, all member states of the European Union, together with the European Free Trade Association countries Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland signed the Tallinn e-Government Declaration. In the Tallinn Declaration, the common goals for e-government development over the next five years have been agreed on, providing direction for both national and pan-European innovation. It encompasses the common understanding that all European countries need to create opportunities for their citizens and enterprises to use state services digitally and without the need to leave their homes. 

"The Tallinn Declaration will also provide guidelines for further cooperation in Europe. First and foremost, we do not want countries to ask citizens and businesses for the same data many times over." said Urve Palo, Estonian Minister for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology (left on the picture). This is why the once-only principle has been fully endorsed by all member states. Specifially, they have agreed to the following: 

"We will in our countries:

  • take steps to identify redundant administrative burden in public services and introduce once only options for citizens and businesses in digital public services by collaboration and data exchange across our administrations at national, regional and local level as well as with other countries for cross-border digital public services;
  • take steps to increase the findability, quality and technical accessibility of data in key base registers and/or similar databases, to build up readiness for applying the once only principle for national or cross-border digital public services;
  • work to create a culture of re-use, including responsible and transparent re-use of data within our administrations;
  • make use of available funding to digitise all necessary key data and implement data exchange services between administrations for applying once only on both national and/or cross-border levels.

We call upon:

  • the Commission to step up the work to define the organisational and technical steps necessary for applying the once only principle to key cross-border digital public services in support of the Single Market, building on the results from pilot projects and programmes;
  • the Commission to further explore possibilities of Standard Business Reporting in view of the implementation of the ESMA European Single Electronic Format to make company data comparable, transparent and accessible digitally to reduce administrative burdens;
  • the EU institutions to apply the once only principle for the EU-level digital public services they own and coordinate, in all policy areas – by 2022."

The Tallinn Declaration was signed under the auspices of the Ministerial e-Government Conference where European digital ministers, business people, e-government experts and civil society representatives met to discuss the future technologies of e-government and share existing user experience across countries. Among the e-government technologies, the conference focused on artificial intelligence, virtual reality and solutions against fake news, already important in the day-to-day work of governments and even more important in the future, as experts predict.

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Picture shows from left to right: Urve Palo, Minister for Entrepreneurship and IT of Estonia; Andrus Ansip, Vice-President, European Commission; Siim Sikkut, Government CIO of Estonia