Cross-border wedding nerves worsened by lack of tech
A lack of communication between government IT systems across Europe is leaving lovers - and businesses - frustrated.
E-government systems are not sharing information across borders, which means lots of unnecessary form-filing, warns the European Commission.
The EC said: "A Swedish/Italian couple needs to fill in and provide dozens of papers to get married because the administrations of both countries cannot communicate electronically."
And it's not only bureaucracy-crossed lovers that are suffering, it warns: "Heaps of paper must be piled up when it comes to setting up a company, paying taxes, transferring social insurance rights or participating in procurement activities in another member state."
As a result the EC is calling for interoperability among all national and regional administrations.
Commissioner Viviane Reding, responsible for Information Society and Media, said in a statement: "Our overall aim must be e-government that delivers tangible benefits for citizens and businesses, everywhere in the EU, leaving no one behind. I also intend to take pragmatic approaches to overcoming some of the key challenges such as interoperability and electronic identification across borders."
The EC said one of the major challenges of e-government is the multiple layers of government at national, regional and local levels. Making e-government work means that all these layers must be able to exchange information and to approach each other for services.
It added there is a need for better interoperability over "life-time events" such as births and marriages. Similar co-ordination is needed for "business-events" - setting up a company or paying taxes. Technical interoperability is also required so that IT systems can share information.
The Commission also wants to work with the member states to set priorities and publish guidelines and technical recommendations to encourage standardisation.