Effective digital public services, or eGovernment, can provide a wide variety of benefits. These include more efficiency and savings for governments and businesses, increased transparency, and greater participation of citizens in political life.
ICT is already widely used by government bodies, but eGovernment involves more than just the tools: it involves rethinking organisations and processes, and changing behaviour so that public services are delivered more efficiently to people. Implemented well, eGovernment enables citizens, enterprises and organisations to carry out their interactions with government more easily, more quickly and at lower cost.
The potential cost savings are massive. In Denmark, electronic invoicing saves taxpayers €150 million a year and businesses €50 million a year. If introduced across the EU, annual savings could exceed €50 billion. Meanwhile, in Italy e-procurement systems cut over €3 billion in costs.
Cross-border digital public services allow people to move freely in the EU. Whether moving for work or family, you can easily deal with public services outside your home country.
As part of its strategy, the European Commission is taking concrete actions for the development of cross-border digital public services. These include, but are not limited to, the creation of European interoperable platforms such as a common framework for citizens' electronic identity management, and the fostering of innovation through funding of large-scale pilots.
Guidelines are available on how to make better use of open standards for ICT systems of public authorities in order to avoid dependencies on certain suppliers of ICT systems (lock in).