A travel agent in Lithuania organizing trips to Portugal wants to start doing business from Portugal to organize trips to Lithuania. To start up a business in Portugal the travel agent has to fulfil certain conditions and provide for the related documents. Within the 27 Member States of the European Union thousands of businessmen and women are exploring the possibility to start up a business in another country. The EU Services Directive defines the EU and national actions needed to make such cross border business easier.
An important role is played by the Points of Single Contact. Points of Single Contact have been set up in each Member State.
The Points of Single Contact are e-government portals accessible via the internet. Businesses can get clear and exhaustive information on administrative procedures and specific requirements. Businesses can complete the required procedures online, such as registration in commercial and professional registers, obtaining permits or licences, submitting notifications by filing requested information online and receiving decisions etc. online.
The EU project SPOCS (Simple Procedures Online for Cross-border Services) (2009-2012) developed building blocks that enable the Points of single contact to offer foreign business on line services to complete the required procedures. Building blocks are software modules to be integrated in national eGovernment infrastructures in this way enhancing the national infrastructures with cross-border functionalities.
Find out more
Have a look at the Points of Single Contacts and SPOCS section for more detailed information, and the Architecture page to discover how SPOCS supports specific administrative processes.
The SPOCS building blocks have been deployed in eight EU Points of Single Contact. These SPOCS pilots contributed to define the features of the building blocks and proved their usability. Piloting also helped to identify the legal and organizational issues at stake and defined the related actions needed.
Context and background material
The SPOCS project is part of the wider EU Digital Agenda initiative. The B6.19 Points of Single Contact (Services Directive)-Video gives a good introduction of the Service Directive and the Points of Single Contact.
During the SPOCS project phase the potential benefits of the SPOCS initiative for the EU Member States, for the EU IT industry, and the EU Businesses have been identified. The benefits are mainly that of better online cross-border services, administrative simplification and modernization, red-tape reduction, and increased transparency.