People in Germany who have to clarify administrative matters these days show two behaviors. They either create a traffic jam in the anterooms that is not really good for nerves and health, or they completely refrain from doing so. Both are bad for our everyday life. That’s why one thing will be more important in the future than ever – e-government. When it comes to major advances in digitization and the associated modernization of administration, Berlin is far ahead in the comparison of countries.
According to the Germany index, Germany’s largest metropolis is ideally positioned to offer processes, procedures and completely new services at all levels of administration thanks to the use of modern information and communication technology (ICT) that is better, more transparent and more user-friendly.
E-government is the digital administration of the future
In the age of intelligent networking of machines and processes with the help of information and communication technologies – also called Industry 4.0 – the word “digitization” has taken a firm place in our everyday language. In contrast, the term “e-government” does not yet seem to have been widely accepted in society. Every day, citizens and companies have more or less to do with the electronic processing of business processes in public administration and government, the so-called e-government.
Berlin e-government – one of the most modern of its kind
With 3.74 million inhabitants, Berlin is the largest city in Germany and at the same time the most populous city in the European Union (EU). This poses major challenges for the Berlin administration. Despite difficult circumstances, Berlin has seen the largest growth in the IT segment since the eGovernment Act came into force in 2016. The law on the promotion of e-government contains numerous and mandatory implementation regulations for the administration. The result achieved so far is impressive. More and more Berliners are communicating digitally with their authorities. The use of official services via the Internet, keyword online ID function of the ID card or the De-Mail infrastructure of an authority for secure communication, has fortunately increased to over 60 percent within one year (2019).
But much remains to be done. Also for the successfully initiated digitization process in Berlin. Because compared to other EU countries, there is still a lot to do for Berlin in terms of digitization and networked administrative action.
And Berlin continues to tackle. The mega-project “Abolition of paper files” through the introduction of the electronic files should be completed by 2023. In addition, the most frequently requested administrative services are to be made available to citizens online.
At service.berlin.de, the “digital pioneer metropolis Berlin” offers information and forms on all online processes and services.
The well-known Hamburg newspaper publisher Axel Springer (1912-1985) summed up his view of Berlin in one sentence in the middle of the last century. “Berlin is the heart of Europe, I don’t know any other”.
Many decades later, the heart of Germany – albeit “only” the digital one – is also in Berlin.
Born 1981 in Strasbourg, is a freelance journalist for various online media throughout Europe, focusing on finance, real estate and politics. He gathered his professional expertise as a consultant for global players and medium-sized companies. Fournier studied economics and german in Paris and Dresden. He currently lives in Saarland and has been a member of the Euro Leaders team since the beginning of 2019.