Online government services such as registering a car, applying for a building permission or paying social contributions, has made big progress, a survey for the Commission finds.
The survey, which is the sixth in a series prepared by Cap Gemini, found that the number of official service providers present online has crossed the 90% threshold in the EU-15 plus Norway, Iceland and Switzerland ('EU-18').
More than half of the public administration service providers in the EU-18 and 42% in the new member states offer the same level of service online and offline. For business-oriented services the figures are higher than for those provided for citizens. Companies in the EU-18 can access 74% of all services online; the figure for the EU-10 is 55%. Citizens of the EU-18, on the other hand, can only access 37% of services on the internet; those living in the ten new member states only 33%.
Country results - full availability online (at least same level of service online as offline)
Source: Cap Gemini for the Commission
In October 2004, when the last survey was done, the figures were on average 9.5% lower. The biggest progress has been achieved in the ten new member states, where the online accessibility of public services has increased by 14% for businesses and by 13% for citizens.
Two new member states - Estonia and Malta- are also the ones where the biggest increase in the sophistication of online services has taken place. Both countries now figure on place 2 and 3 - right behind Austria and before Sweden - in the statistics as well on the availability as on the sophistication of online services.
Country results: online sophistication. Source: Cap Gemini for the Commission
Online sophistication is measured on a scale reaching from 'no online service' (equalling 0 to 25%) over the mere provision of information (25 - 50%), downloadable forms (50 - 75%), electronic online forms (75 - 100%) to full online case handling (100%). With the EU-28 average now at 75%, “'intelligent' user centric inclusive services are the next frontier", Cap Gemini says.