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Foreign Minister Kaljurand: in deploying a digital single market, Baltic countries can act as a compass for Europe

03.09.2015

Today in Copenhagen, while speaking at the Baltic Development Forum and the ICT development think-tank “Top of Digital Europe” round table about the need for and development of a digital single market, Foreign Minister Kaljurand emphasized that Baltic Sea countries need to participate in more cooperative work regarding the development of joint cross-border ICT solutions. “The Baltic Sea countries with their innovation and skills can be a compass for all of Europe regarding the deployment of joint solutions,” Foreign Minister Kaljurand said.

Despite the risk of cyber threats, the rapid development of the IT field offers opportunities today, which according to Foreign Minister Kaljurand have contributed to social welfare and the growth of economic competitiveness. “Estonia's experience confirms that the introduction of information technology in governing and providing government services simplifies people's everyday lives, raises competitiveness and confidence and helps cut spending,” the Foreign Minister said. “The economy of the Baltic Sea countries, but also the EU economy as a whole, would benefit from quickly adopting secure cross-border electronic identification and digital signatures,” she added.

The Foreign Minister added that Estonia already has, for example, successful experience in cross-border cooperation with Finland, Latvia and Lithuania and in the use of digital signatures and cross-border data exchange with Finland. “We hope that other countries will also soon begin using these opportunities,” she added.

Kaljurand emphasized that the development of cross-border digital solutions, as well as the promotion of regional cooperation carries a very important role in public and private sector cooperation. “The building up of Estonia's digital society and e-government has taken place in partnership with private and public sectors,” Kaljurand said. “We would like to see entrepreneurs taking on a greater role, as well as leading the initiative in the cross-border cooperation of Baltic Sea countries, both in the use of existing IT solutions and in the creation of new ones,” she added.

Baltic countries should also intensify their cooperation in the field of ICT education, Foreign Minister Kaljurand said, since a shortage of specialists is a shared problem. Once again, the Foreign Minister stressed the need to promote both bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the field of cyber security, highlighting the practical day to day cooperation between information security specialists from various countries, as well as the opportunities offered by the NATO Cyber Defence Centre in Tallinn.

With the support of Microsoft and Siemens, the Baltic Development Forum initiated the regional ICT development think-tank “Top of Digital Europe” in 2014. Its aim is to support the Baltic Sea region’s development as a leading region in the field of ICT, to mediate dialogue and to make recommendations regarding the growth of the digital economy.

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/albums/72157657681083848

 

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