“The Once-Only Principle for Europe” Conference co-hosted by TOOP and SCOOP4C, took place on 24-25 September in Vienna, Austria. The event brought together nearly 150 participants from Europe and beyond - the key players in shaping modern digital governments.
During the presentations and debates, speakers shared experiences, ideas and visions for cross-border application of the Principle. The SCOOP4C project team presented policy recommendations for implementing the 'once-only' principle (OOP) on a European level, based on extensive research and stakeholder consultations. The event offered an excellent opportunity to communicate the entry of the TOOP Project into the piloting phase. The TOOP pilots demonstrate the cross-border application of OOP by testing seamless and safe data exchange in several use-cases. Furthermore, the event engaged public and private sector representatives in discussions on the wide range of aspects related to the effective implementation of the OOP such as business value, user expectations, legal and technical requirements and many more.
On the second day, the keynote speakers from the European Commission highlighted the importance of the OOP in the context of European policies such as the Single Digital Gateway. In his speech Andrea Servida (European Commission / DG CNECT) defined the 'once-only' principle as a way to freedom and a lighthouse for the digital public services, explaining, how to operationalise the Principle at the EU level. According to Hettel Varik (European Commission / DG GROW) the OOP, as one of the pillars of the European Commission’s commitment to the advancement of the Digital Single Market, will become an integral part of cross-border digital public services in the EU and EEA countries. By 2023, every citizen and business from one of the member countries of the European Economic Area, should have access to the online procedures defined in the Annex II of the Single Digital Gateway Regulation through the Single Digital Gateway.
The case studies presented at the conference, demonstrated the practical aspects of the OOP implementation in Europe and beyond. Elsa Estevez from the National University of the South (Argentina) underlined that the EU has always been a source of good practices for Latin American countries. Some of these countries are putting a significant effort into implementing the 'once-only' principle while looking at the lessons learnt from the OOP application in Europe.
The event also enabled in-depth discussions on the impact of the OOP on end users and public administrations, held by experts from the European Commission, public administration representatives and academics. It was the last conference of the SCOOP4C project, which investigates the existing OOP practices for citizens and created a stakeholder community of practitioners, researchers and the interested public. The culmination of the event was marked by a symbolic handover of the stakeholder community from the SCOOP4C to the TOOP Project.
'Once-only' principle should be perceived as the default option for any new digital service being launched. It not only reduces administrative burdens but also streamlines the provision of the digital public services across borders. The main conclusion of the event is that thorough understanding, political commitment and collaboration is necessary for the successful implementation of the Principle across borders.
For the summary of The Once-Only Principle for Europe Conference visit: www.toop.eu/conference
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