According to the European Union e-government report 2016, other countries should follow the steps Estonia has taken in e-governance and the availability of online services to the public.
Even though the report ranks the small Mediterranean nation of Malta as first in Europe for e-government services, it notes that Estonia has been capable of increasing its internet penetration in 2014-1015 and the awareness of its e-government services, “which were of high quality already”.
“Malta, Cyprus and Lithuania should follow the steps of Estonia, as they are very similar countries,” the report asserts.
Leading the way
All in all, Malta, Austria, Estonia, Portugal and Finland lead the way in Europe when it comes to e-government services, according to the report. The greatest progress over the years in customer-centricity of e-government services has been achieved by Austria and Estonia, while Portugal and Spain are stable since 2012.
“Estonia, Malta, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland provide the easiest way to navigate public services,” the report commends, adding that “taking into account the time the user takes to go through the online services (speed of use), Estonia and Iceland are leading the way”. It’s also noteworthy that, according to the report, “[e]lectronic identification is fully available in Estonia, while Malta, Latvia, Spain and Turkey are close to enable completely this functionality”.
The e-government report measured four different indicators in determining how governments performed when it came to the provision of e-government services – user centricity, transparency, cross-border mobility of e-government services, and to what extent a country had rolled out key enablers of e-government services, such as ID-cards, e-documents and single sign-on technology.
Cover: map of Europe (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).