Digital public services are increasingly empowering European citizens
17th edition of the eGovernment Benchmark.
Recent developments relating to COVID-19 showed the relevance of continuous online public service delivery, but the digital building blocks must be in place.
Paris, September 22 2020 – Capgemini has launched the 2020 eGovernment Benchmark, its annual report that provides the European Commission insight into the level of eGovernment services across Europe. This year’s results show that all European countries improved their digital service delivery and are increasingly supporting citizens and businesses to obtain government services online. The study, led by Capgemini and jointly carried out with its subsidiary Sogeti and consortium partners, IDC and Politecnico di Milano, also highlighted that in order to achieve an eGovernment that works for the people, steps needs to be taken to accelerate the implementation of digital building blocks which are prerequisite for the design of user-centric, seamless and transparent services.
This 17th edition of the eGovernment Benchmark report puts a spotlight on the state-of-play of the digital transformation of European public administrations. Recent developments related to COVID-19 showed the relevance of continuous online public service delivery. Highlighting that it is not only about the business case for having online channels and attracting users to these channels, but the necessity to support citizens and businesses in times when face-to-face interaction is not possible. By assessing over 10,000 websites across European 36 countries, this study shows that businesses and citizens can currently complete 70% of the services under evaluation online.
European countries closing the gap in eGovernment performance
According to the report digital government in Europe is moving in the right direction: overall the average stands at 68%, up from 65% last year. Moreover, the gap between the leaders and the laggards has further decreased, which is testament to the increase of eGovernment across Europe. In the field of usability of important web portals, the European countries excel, demonstrated by their average score of 91%. Many Europeans enjoy a multitude of support options, ranging from demos and FAQ-sections to live chat functions, to help them with their questions online. At the same time, cites the report, eGovernment could reduce the workload for citizens and businesses even further by making more use of authentic sources, such as base registries, to prefill personal information (now provided in 57% of the forms where personal data is required).
“As a result of COVID-19 public administrations now realize the pure necessity of remotely accessible and user-friendly eGovernment services,” says Niels van der Linden, eGovernment Benchmark Project Lead at Capgemini Invent. “While the supply of online services has taken off, Europe needs to accelerate the adoption of key technical enablers that are pivotal to deliver on the potential of comprehensive eGovernment. An eGovernment that works for the people and brings seamless, user-friendly and transparent services is a necessity in times of social distancing.”
New and old digital horizons
This year, another four-year cycle of benchmarking European eGovernment comes to completion, meaning that the progress of digital service delivery in different life events can be evaluated. Four years of benchmarking show that entrepreneurs in particular are well supported by eGovernment, while doing both regular work, such as corporate tax, as well as during their first steps when starting up a business, registering their company and hiring their first employees. Substantial improvements were made for citizens that want to buy a new car or move house, where face-to-face contact with the government is increasingly less required.
Erik Hoorweg, Vice President for Public Sector at Capgemini Invent comments: “Excellent eGovernment is a prerequisite for public administrations that want to enable their citizens and businesses to get the most out of digital transformation. The next step will be the transformation to a super smart human-centered society, called society 5.0, where service delivery will be increasingly automated with the help of Artificial Intelligence. This will promote more meaningful citizenship and enables governments to provide services for people with more diverse lifestyles.”
Over the past few years, major steps have been taken to make digital the new default. This latest report found that communications with the government via digital are increasingly becoming the new normal and that over three quarters (76%) of the websites under evaluation are now mobile friendly (up from 61% two years ago). Another pertinent topic in the upcoming years will be users’ access to personal data. Although this indicator has improved substantially over the last few years and now scores 64%, there still remains work to do in the future before citizens and businesses can easily see and decide who uses their data and for what purpose.
For more information or to download the report, click here.
More information about the digital agenda of the European Union can be found at: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/
 The 36 countries include the European Union Member States, Albania, Iceland, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Republic of Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. This group of countries is referred to as ‘Europe’ and ‘EU27+’ throughout the report.
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