20th edition of the eGovernment Benchmark report
Less than half of cross-border services available online due to language and electronic identification challenges. Bridging the gap between cross-border and national users will be key if Europe is to achieve its Digital Decade targets.
Paris, September 27, 2023 – The 20th anniversary edition of Capgemini’s eGovernment Benchmark, commissioned by the European Commission, shows that more than eight out of ten (84%) of all government services are now available online across Europe, but cross-border users still face multiple barriers. The annual report, which evaluates more than 15,000 government websites, also found that Malta and Estonia have the most user-centric, transparent, technologically enabled, and internationally orientated digital government services in Europe. Some nations saw remarkable growth in eGovernment maturity against last year’s benchmark, with Türkiye seeing a 10-point increase, and Greece and Serbia both securing an eight-point rise.
The report, led by Capgemini Group and jointly carried out with its consortium partners, IDC and Politecnico di Milano, underlines the key factors required to meet the digital decade targets of 2030. Primarily, delivering services to different users, through different services providers, and across European countries will be key.
Marc Reinhardt, Public Sector Global Industry leader at Capgemini said, “In the past 20 years that we’ve been evaluating progress of eGovernment services in Europe, we’ve seen a marked transformation in the availability and quality of digital citizen services. Enabling digital abilities of local governance bodies such as municipalities to make them more efficient, and leveraging data and AI in government services, will be key to ensuring a better citizen experience. With the dual transformation towards a digital and sustainable economy underway, incorporating sustainability in the way services are designed and built will be of increased strategic importance. As budgets continue to tighten, Europe needs to come together to further improve eGovernment services by adopting and re-using best practices, and the Interoperable Europe Act could be a major step in this direction.”
Services for cross-border users not yet at par with their national counterparts
Digital services allow users to make cross-border requests without being physically present. According to the report, less than half (49%) of the measured services are available for cross-border users, which is substantially lower than for national users. This is due to multiple challenges that cross-border users encounter, particularly language issues and lack of electronic identification options. Many government websites are only available in the national language and just 25% of websites allow cross-border eID authentication. Yet, in 2022 46% of the services were online for cross-border users, which shows that government institutions are aiming to close the gap.
Secure, user-centric services promote uptake and accelerate digitalization
Safe and transparent services are key pillars for trustworthy eGovernment and service delivery. Users can identify themselves with their national eID in 70% of cases, allowing for secure authentication. Moreover, governments prefill personal information almost as often (68%) when it is needed to complete the service.
During delivery, eight out of ten services notify the user when a step in the service process has been successfully completed, but less than half (46%) of all services convey how long completion will take. Furthermore, the majority (82%) of public sector websites violate one or more of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) criteria and are therefore not compliant with accessibility requirements.
The report also found a clear positive trend when it comes to mobile friendliness: more than nine out of ten (94%) of all government websites are responsive on mobile devices, up from just 60% in 2017. Still, just six out of ten services (63%) can be completed on smartphones. Although websites accommodate users to easily navigate websites on mobile devices, they encounter barriers when more complicated actions, such as eID authentication, are required.
Niels van der Linden, Account Lead for the European Union Institutions at Capgemini Invent comments: “User experience is pivotal for digital public services and it has been a priority for the EU for over two decades of eGovernment benchmarking. Digitalization of public services greatly benefits from design guides that promote accessibility and usability for all. We see that governments are increasingly aware of this and are creating new services or reshaping existing services to meet those demands. Improved mobile-friendliness, borderless service delivery, and adherence to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are essential for users, and for governments to reach the ambitious goals of the Digital Decade.”
Interoperability is the key towards digital services for everyone
Services delivered by cities and provinces are not as mature as services delivered by central government organizations. These local and regional government authorities often lack the technological infrastructure required for high-quality services. Interoperability is key to improving these services. Architectural building blocks, such as eID and eSignature, can be easily adopted on government websites, making services across Europe more similar, independent of country and service provider. By shifting towards interoperability and implementing the Single Digital Gateway, Europe is connecting digital governments.
Today, the study covers the EU27 Member States as well the European Free Trade Association countries: Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, and the EU candidate countries Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Türkiye.
For more information and to download the report, click here.
Capgemini is a global leader in partnering with companies to transform and manage their business by harnessing the power of technology. The Group is guided every day by its purpose of unleashing human energy through technology for an inclusive and sustainable future. It is a responsible and diverse organisation of 360,000 team members in more than 50 countries. With its strong 55-year heritage and deep industry expertise, Capgemini is trusted by its clients to address the entire breadth of their business needs, from strategy and design to operations, fueled by the fast evolving and innovative world of cloud, data, AI, connectivity, software, digital engineering, and platforms. The Group reported in 2022 global revenues of €22 billion (about $23 billion USD at 2022 average rate).
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