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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
News article6 September 2022Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Single Market: the first EU-wide dataspace to simplify exchange of official documents to the benefit of citizens and businesses

The Commission is today laying the ground for the establishment of the first EU-wide data space, which will enable the sharing of information between public administrations across borders between EU countries. Available as from end of 2023, the Once Only Technical System (OOTS) will allow public authorities across the EU to exchange official documents and data at citizens and businesses’ request in a simplified and efficient manner.

Thanks to the Once Only Technical System, that connects national portals, citizens should be able to supply a document only once to a public authority. If another public authority across the EU needs access to the same document, and with the citizen’s explicit authorisation, it will be able to retrieve it via the Once Only Technical System. Today, because of a lack of interoperability and digital barriers between Member States, an increasing number of Europeans are forced to provide the same information to different authorities even if one of them already holds that information in electronic format. For example, when applying for a master’s course at a university online, students need to provide a copy of their bachelor’s degree even though this document is held electronically by the university when the citizen graduated.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner responsible for the Internal Market, said: “This is a much-awaited step for an effective Single Market without digital barriers. With the Once-Only Technical System, we are better equipped to improve the life of European citizens and companies and increase the Single Market's effectiveness by significantly reducing red tape.”

Once available, the OOTS will operate within the Single Digital Gateway platform, a multifaceted European initiative that strives to create a cross-border digital infrastructure. To make this happen, the Commission published today  the Implementing Regulation on the Once Only Technical System, following an agreement reached at Member States’ level. This will also provide a reusable template for other dataspaces that require data to flow securely within the EU. For more information a factsheet and video are available online.