No. 35




How to digitalise European corridors?

08 June 2017


RiTo No. 35, 2017

  • Margus Mägi

    EU Secretariat of the Government Office, Digital Policy Adviser

  • Valdek Laur

    EU Secretariat of the Government Office, Digital Image Adviser

Before the coming Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, we would like to shed light on the digital issues that will be spoken about during the next six months and the events that deserve attention, and discuss what kind of inheritance Estonia plans to leave to the following presidencies.

The main political keywords during the Presidency are free flow of data, e-government, e-trade, and smart economy. Cyber security and the issues related to the creation of the single digital market of the EU, like cooperation in consumer protection, or the problems connected with respect for private life and protection of personal data in electronic communication, will also be among important topics.

Nearly fifty of the 250 events and meetings planned for the Presidency period will deal with digital issues either directly or indirectly; digital issues will be discussed at several unofficial councils and high-level conferences. The main event on digital issues will be the conference planned to take place at the end of September. There are also several smaller, but still very exiting meetings where the specialists of a specific field meet in Tallinn and discuss the digital issues relating to their speciality in great detail.

Estonia is well known for its strong IT reputation. Therefore the guests of the Estonian Presidency events expect to experience something digital that may not exist in their home country. It is planned to have an exhibition introducing the technologies developed in Estonia, where we can demonstrate our e-state solutions and also innovative examples from the private sector, at Tallinn Creative Hub, the main venue for the Presidency events. During the first two months of the Presidency, driverless minibuses will move between Viru tram stop and Tallinn Creative Hub. As long as the tramline is being repaired, they will take our guests from the Centre to the venue of main events.

In cooperation with our Presidency partners Bulgaria and Austria, we have initiated a pilot project of digital presidency, which has two major aims. First, to reduce the circulation of paper documents related to the Presidency. Second, to promote the using of digital signatures in the work processes of the Council of the European Union and the Presidency.

The coming Presidency of the EU Council is certainly a great challenge for us, but also a unique possibility to show ourselves to the whole Europe from the best side, and to help find solutions in the issues where we can provide both experience and innovative approach.