Croatia among top European countries by digital services

Croatia among top European countries by digital services

According to the Croatian newspaper Jutarnji list, this country is near the very top among European countries in terms of the development of the digital services it offers to citizens. In the Monday report, the newspapers stated that a total of 89 e-services are available to citizens.

In the analysis of the data from the Central State Office for the Development of the Digital Society, Jutarnji says that there are 1,281,911 users of the e-Citizens system in Croatia. During the pandemic, the number of users rose by as much as 50%. On 1 March 2020, there were 839,935 users, and by 26 May, the number had gone up by 441,976.

Interior Minister Davor Božinović told Jutarnji List that 2020, the year of COVID, had forced people or at least hurried them into looking for solutions in the digital world.

“Every time when we move the solution to a problem or the exercise of a right into the digital sphere…, we send a clear message to citizens: We appreciate your time, we are thinking of your health,” Božinović said.

It all started back in 2014 with the issuing of new electronic ID cards and launching the e-Citizens system as a central place for e-services.

Of all the applications available, citizens use the application of the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) the most. To date, as many as 773,165 applications have been submitted, including 8,401 applications for an “e-driver’s” licence, 3,965 for an e-passport, 4,149 for e-registration of temporary residence of Croatian citizens and 122,568 e-registrations of permanent residence of newborn children.

MUP’s IT experts also launched the Enter Croatia project. It is used by foreigners who intend to stay in Croatia, and they can submit their data in advance via the website in order to reduce waiting times at the border. The program has now been upgraded with a digital COVID certificate. Over the past year, 2,469,931 announcements of arrival in Croatia have been received through the application. The application also includes a portal via which digital nomads can apply for a temporary stay of up to 12 months. Thirty-six digital nomads have applied to date.

The Commercial Services Agency (AKD) has announced new digital projects, such as the new generation of ID cards and passports, biometric residence permits, and EU digital COVID-19 certificates.

“We will also establish a platform with electronic services for e/m-Signature and e/m-Stamp, create an ID mobile application and enable valid electronic signatures via mobile phones and tablets,” said AKD CEO Jure Sertić.

As of 2 August, the e-ID card will be merged with the health insurance card but not with the driver’s licence. Minister Božinović points out that an EU directive prescribes the appearance and content of the form of driver’s licences and that an ID card cannot contain a driver’s licence.

In September, the e-Citizens system will be upgraded to include the 2021 census of the population, households and dwellings. Citizens will be able to register using an electronic census questionnaire, Jutarnji List said.