By Stavros Papantoniou
Aiming to make things easier for expatriate Greeks, the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Digital Governance are drafting a project that will provide them with digital services.
The project is based on two central pillars. The first is the creation of a 12th link on the Gov.gr home page under the tab Expatriates. The link leads to a page that groups some 60 online services for expatriates that are already available electronically but are scattered. The grouping of services will enable Greeks abroad to find everything they need in one place, including anything from registration in the special electoral lists abroad (Interior Ministry), a criminal record copy (Justice Ministry), recognition of a degree (Education Ministry), and a special identity card for expatriates from Albania, Turkey, the former USSR (Citizens’ Protection Ministry) etc.
The second pillar concerns the digital transformation of diplomatic authorities so that expatriates can access services through the sites of the consulates. It concerns a total of 84 embassies, 37 consulates general, 9 permanent representations, 7 consulates and 1 liaison office.
This will completely transform and simplify the processes of consular services via a virtual assistant service to access information, to digitally submit documents and interconnect with digital platforms of the general government, cutting through the red tape of bureaucracy.
These services concern the issuing of: (a) certificate of permanent residence, b) certificates/municipal register, c) passports, d) military services, e) power of attorney, f) relocations, g) tax/customs. The new procedures entail direct 24-hour support and communication between citizens and consular authorities.
In addition to digital services aimed at combating bureaucracy and better serving the people, procedures are being promoted to create specific tools that will enhance the work of the Foreign Ministry. One of these tools, which will be financed by the recovery fund, is the Central Information Collection System from open sources (international press, social media, radio and television media etc).
This article was previously published at ekathimerini.com.