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Improving online public services in the EU

Improving online public services in the EU

In December 2010 the European Commission presented a five-year eGovernment Action Plan that aims to expand and improve the public services that Member States offer online. In cooperation with Member States’ public authorities, the Commission plans to deliver innovative and efficient online public services to citizens and businesses.

Only 42% of the EU population used online public services in 2010. The services themselves are rarely, or not easily, available across borders. The eGovernment Action Plan therefore aims to increase the take-up of online public services to 50% of EU citizens by 2015 and to make available online a number of cross-border services, meaning that citizens and businesses will now be able to access eGovernment services in any Member State they live in or travel to. Public services will be made available through various channels, including the internet, TV, telephone and mobile devices.

Public authorities will be able to offer improved services more cost-effectively, with the services based on users’ needs. It will thus be possible to register a business online or apply for and access social security and health benefits, enroll in a university or bid to provide goods and services for public administrations. Public administrations will become more transparent, with citizens being able to access their personal data electronically, in strict compliance with data protection requirements. The existing eProcurement systems will be connected, thus allowing entrepreneurs to perform the full public procurement cycle online, across the EU, while students will be able to to enroll online to any European school or university from any Member State.

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