Prime Ministers of Estonia and Finland agree to take digital cooperation to a new level

10.05.2016 | 19:02

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Helsinki, 10 May 2016 - Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas and Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä digitally signed a joint declaration on an initial road map for launching data exchange and e-services between Estonia and Finland, during their meeting today.

According to Prime Minister Rõivas, data exchange between Estonia and Finland by making the databases reciprocally available enables the delivery of better public services to citizens and businesses that operate across the borders.

“We wish to see, by the end of 2016, specific action plans on how and when automatic data exchange will commence between commercial registers, population registers, on social insurance benefits, digital prescriptions and maritime data,” said Prime Minister Rõivas. “Subsequent agreements concerning tax data, educational qualifications, digital health records and a number of other fields have to be there by end of 2017,” added Rõivas.

The Prime Minister stressed that both Finnish and Estonian authorities need to clearly prioritise cross-border data exchange in their own digital development plans in order for declaration to take effect.

“At today’s meeting, we agreed that we, as prime ministers, will the review the progress of implementation each time we meet,” assured Rõivas.

“Thanks to the largely existing infrastructure and development projects, we have the potential to become the primary example of well-functioning cross-border public services and a role-model for the rest of Europe,” said Rõivas in Helsinki.

The prime ministers also discussed bilateral relations between Estonia and Finland, including economic, infrastructure and energy projects, regional security and other topical issues of international relevance.

“We must not allow Russia’s actions in Syria divert attention from the fact that a part of Ukraine’s territory remains occupied and military action continues unabated,” emphasised Rõivas, commenting on the issue of security.

The Prime Minister welcomed the fact that Estonia and Finland had jointly submitted, in accordance with the timetable; an application for mobilising European (CEF) funds for the construction of the BalticConnector gas pipeline.

“We have received messages concerning the regional importance of the project, have further assessed its details and hope to construct the pipeline in accordance with the agreed timetable,” said Rõivas.

Photos from the meeting:

Joint declaration of Estonian and Finnish Prime Ministers on roadmap for data exchange and e-services: digitally signed BDOC file (262.79 KB) and declaration text in PDF format (258.43 KB).

Ave Tampere

Government Communication Unit