Single Digital Gateway moves forward and fully supports the once-only principle

On November 30th 2017, the Council of the European Union adopted its position (general approach) on setting up a single digital gateway - a 'one stop shop' for EU citizens and companies. Citizens and businesses will have to submit personal information only once, which will reduce the administrative burden. The Single Digital Gateway therefore fully supports and makes use of the once-only principle.

"We have to make it easier for our people and companies to find the information they need, wherever in the EU they live, work or do business. Creating an online one-stop-shop is a convenient way to do that and it has been a priority for the Estonian Presidency. It is a new step towards the digitalisation of public services in cross-border situations and a further move towards making the digital Europe a reality."

Kadri Simson, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure of Estonia

The interface will ensure centralised access by EU citizens and businesses to information they need to exercise their rights to mobility in the EU, as well as to full access to online procedures in a non-discriminatory way. The single digital gateway will integrate several networks and services that have been established at national and EU level to assist citizens and businesses in their cross-border activities. These include: European Consumer Centres, Your Europe Advice, SOLVIT, Intellectual Property Rights Helpdesk, Europe Direct and Enterprise Europe Network.

A basic principle of the gateway is that if a procedure is available for a citizen of one member state it should also be accessible to users from other member states. Corresponding to that, fourteen key administrative procedures have to be made available online to all: both national and cross-border users. These procedures cover situations, which are relevant for registering a business or doing business, working or studying or moving from one location to another, applying for study loans and grants, recognition of academic titles, getting a European Health Card and registering a motor vehicle.

Next steps

This general approach adapted by the Council of the EU now enables negotiations with the European Parliament to begin. With this decision, the Council of the EU agrees to the proposal of the EU Commission, which was presented on May 2nd, 2017. The institutional negotiations under the ordinary legislative procedure will begin next year, once the European Parliament has agreed its position.

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The picture shows Ms Urve Palo, Estonian Minister for Economic Affairs and Communications at the Council of the EU meeting on the single digital gateway.