(Expanding on a previous post)
Simple Procedures Online for Cross-border Services (SPOCS) is a European pilot project focusing on supporting the implementation of the Services Directive, which is supposed to help businesses establish themselves across borders more easily, dealing with complex and somewhat unique administrative procedures in a much more efficient and comprehensible way. One of the requirements is for member states to create points of single contact through which businesses can get all the information they need and initiate most of the establishment procedures.
Great stuff, but I doubt people in Brussels and surroundings are asking themselves how social media will change the attitude and expectations of people who plan to open a business in a different country. These people will increasingly tap into knowledge from those who have done it before, through their professional associations or LinkedIn contacts and groups, they will get insights about the efficiency and effectiveness of different points of single contact and will be informed about any possible loophole in procedures and laws that can make them more successful (and spend less money).
So, while making cross-border administrative obligations easier is a very valuable objective, the way entrepreneurs (and especially younger ones) will expect that interaction to take place could be very different, based on value adding intermediaries that may change the very workflows that ministries in different parts of Europe are putting together.
Now, how does SPOCS help any administration develop an information and a service architecture that allow to serve points of single contact that are as diverse as a government agency, a chamber of commerce or various social networks? How does it help capitalize on the collaboration and growing collective intelligence of a generation of entrepreneurs who value their LinkedIn contacts as much as (if not more than) a government service?