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eGovernment Benchmark 2019: trust in government is increasingly important for people

The 2019 eGovernment Benchmark report shows remarkable improvements in the Transparency and Key enablers indicators.
Even though there is still a significant gap between the leaders and laggards in eGovernment in all four Top-level benchmarks, it has been steadily narrowing in the last few years.
The report also highlights how trust in government is increasingly important for people.

cover of the eGovernment Benchmark 2019

European Union, 2019

eGovernment Benchmark 2019

An advancing digital economy and society impacts the routines of people, and this can only work if people trust the organisation that is accountable for that change.

The eGovernment benchmark 2019 report reveals that the European front-runners in eGovernment are Malta, Estonia and Austria. These countries score highest in terms of overall maturity. Latvia, Lithuania and Finland follow close behind. In general, countries in the southeast of Europe score below the EU28+ average of 65%.

Where does the EU fare best? Where should we improve?

Progress is visible for all four top-level benchmarks. Europe is most advanced in terms of User-centricity, showing that public administrations keep an eye on user needs and preferences. Despite improvements, further efforts are needed to uplift the eGovernment dimensions of Transparency, Cross-border mobility and Key enablers.

Top-level benchmark scores (2018 biennial average, Growth compared to 2017 biennial average)

Last year, the eGovernment Benchmark included the results of the first security pilot tests on public websites. This pilot has been repeated in the assessment this year. The results show that there is still work to be done in order to strengthen the security of online public services.

How is performance measured?

Overall performance is measured as an average score of four top-level benchmarks (which each comprise multiple sub-indicators):

  • User-centricity (the extent to which a service is provided online, its mobile friendliness and its usability);
  • Transparency  (of government authorities’ operations, service delivery procedures and the level of control users have over their personal data);
  • Cross-border mobility (the extent to which public services are available to European citizens across national borders);
  • Key enablers (the availability of eID, eDocuments and Authentic Sources, etc).

User centricity

The User centricity top-level benchmark scores highest, with 85% for the EU28+ average. The User centricity benchmark is made up of the Online availability, Usability and Mobile friendliness indicators. There is most room for improvement for Mobile friendliness, which scores 68% for the EU28+ average.


The top-level Transparency benchmark scores 62% for the EU28+ average, with a low score on the Service delivery indicator (55%) and a higher score on the Public organisations indicator (72%).

Cross-border mobility

The Cross-border mobility top-level benchmark scores lowest of the four top-level benchmarks (53% for the EU28+ average). The scores of citizen cross-border mobility are considerably lower than for businesses, with 48% vs 63%.

Key enablers

The Key enablers Top-level benchmark stands at 58% (EU28+ average). The eID and Authentic sources indicators score 54% and 55%, the eDocument and Digital Post indicators score a higher (65% and 63%).

What's more?

An explorative benchlearning perspective

The eGovernment benchlearning exercise aims to compare eGovernment performances among countries with similar characteristics, such as status quo features and innovation drivers. It allows us to identify countries with similar context that do well and countries that could do better. In this way, the eGoverment benchlearning approach adds to the dissemination of best practices. The benchlearning exercise might give an indication of how country characteristics could influence eGovernment performance, thereby hinting at opportunities to enhance the efficiency of eGovernment policies. eGovernment performances are measured by two indicators: Penetration and Digitisation.

  • Penetration captures the adoption of eGovernment services online.
    The European average for this indicator increased since last year to 57% (+4%), with countries showing a wide range of scores.
  • Digitisation measures the digitisation level of the back and front offices of public administrations.
    The European average stands at 68%, with an increase of 5% since last year.

Absolute and relative performances

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are outperforming countries in both Digitisation and Penetration, as shown above by the upward and rightward arrows. Denmark, Spain and France are outperforming in Penetration, while performing on average on Digitisation. The United Kingdom and Romania are outperforming on Penetration but underperforming in Digitisation.

Austria and Portugal are outperforming in Digitisation and show average performance on Penetration. Malta is outperforming on Digitisation but underperforming in Penetration.

Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden perform in line with relative indicators, i.e. they match expectations based on their characteristics.

Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg and Slovenia are underperforming in Penetration given their country characteristics, while they perform according to expectations in terms of Digitisation.

Looking at Digitisation instead, Croatia and Slovakia are underperforming, while they are performing in line with Penetration averages. Germany and Hungary are the only countries showing a relative performance below the European trend, both in Penetration and in Digitisation.


The eGovernment Benchmark report evaluates progress on key components of the eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020, the Tallinn Declaration and the accomplishment of a European Digital Single Market. The eGovernment Benchmark uses 8 life events to capture the landscape of public services. Each life event is measured once every two years: Business start-up, Losing and finding a job, Studying and Family are observed in the even years, Regular business operations, Moving, Owning and driving a car and Starting a small claims procedure in the odd years. Given the methodological update in 2016, only a select number of indicators allow for comparisons over time.

eGovernment Benchmark material