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Digital citizen centres and more - Denmark's leading position in the EU

Panoramic view over the rooftops of Copenhagen with the striking church tower of Christiansborg Palace in the background

Copenhagen is not only a popular tourist destination, but also a country from which Germany can learn a thing or two when it comes to digitalising the public sector. Photo: Unsplash

Digital citizens' offices, electronic doctor's letters, tax returns at the touch of a button and comprehensive gigabit networks - Denmark is leading the way in many areas of digitalisation. In the EU digital index "Desi", the country even ranks second after Finland among all 28 EU countries. At the Smart Country Convention 2018, Denmark presented itself as an official partner country and showcased its innovative digital applications for administrations, public companies and the digitalisation of cities, municipalities and counties.

MitID - the key to digital administration

A central element of the digital transformation in Denmark is the MitID, a digital identity that enables citizens to identify themselves and log in to public authorities online. This digital signature serves as the key to more than a hundred digital services offered by the public administration and many private services, such as online banking and health data exchange. An impressive 98 per cent of Danes use this digital identity, which also allows them to register for kindergarten or access banking services.

According to a survey conducted in 2022, almost 50 per cent of respondents in Germany would make greater use of a digital identity. Since 2010, this has been possible via a chip in the ID card, which makes it an online ID card. However, the eID is still not really being used in Germany. - the central portal for citizen services

All digital public administration services are bundled on the portal. Citizens can log in here with their MitID and easily find the right contact person or the right form. Whether it's applying for a passport, receiving pension benefits, reporting incidents to the police or reserving books at the library - everything is available centrally. Even an amicable divorce can be processed digitally for a fee of just under 100 euros.

The digital postbox - communication of the future

All correspondence with authorities, offices and companies in Denmark is sent via a protected electronic mailbox linked to the MitID. The tax office, municipalities, healthcare, insurance companies and banks use this to send their mail digitally. This means that letters from authorities, tax returns and bank statements are delivered securely and easily to citizens' e-letterboxes. In Denmark, there is a legal obligation to communicate digitally: all people aged 15 and over must check their e-letterbox regularly and send their requests to the administration exclusively digitally.

Denmark as a role model for digitalisation

Digitalisation has helped Denmark achieve growth and prosperity, relieved the burden on certain areas of public administration and freed up space for important issues such as healthcare, education and the welfare state. Friis Arne Petersen, Danish Ambassador, emphasised the importance of all citizens actively shaping digitalisation at the Smart Country Convention 2018.

"Everyone should be given the opportunity to actively shape digitalisation. Digitalisation is no longer a decision for or against. It affects us all. Digitalisation has helped us in Denmark to grow and prosper, relieved the burden on certain areas of public administration and created scope for issues such as health, education and the welfare state. We are therefore honoured to be the partner country for the Smart Country Convention. We look forward to meeting you at the Smart Country Convention and sharing our experiences and solutions with you." Friis Arne Petersen, former Danish ambassador

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