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A digital leadership for the European Union

Europe’s digital future to be discussed in Tallinn

Estonia will promote its e-government strategies to the other EU member states tomorrow. The goal of the Digital Summit is “to provide a platform for launching high-level discussions on plans for digital innovations enabling Europe to stay ahead of the technological curve in the years to come”, the presidency says.

It is estimated that the combined economic impact in Europe of the automation of knowledge work, robots and vehicles will reach between €6.5 trillion and €12 trillion annually by 2025, including benefits in areas such as healthcare and security.

But where does Europe stand? The focus should be more on how the digital services can be useful for the European society as a whole, for example by removing the barriers to national data storage or creating a 5G infrastructure.

This article was originally published on the Irish Times. Read the full piece here.


How has Estonia become an e-leader?

Taavet Hinrikus, CEO of the Estonian start-up Transferwise, recently had an interview with CNBC during an episode of Life Hacks Live. Hinrikus credits Estonia’s digital growth to its reinvention: “We did things from the beginning in the right way, setting up the right kind of structure for the economy. I think partially that’s thanks to the entrepreneurial tech success story, but also the government has some very smart people.”

The goal of e-government is to make bureaucracy faster and more efficient. In this way, services provided are cheaper and easier to administrate, while being also user-friendly and available 24/7. Hinrikus considers the success story of Skype a pivotal chapter not just for Estonia’s digitalization process, but also for the country’s rebirth as a heaven for tech start-ups and entrepreneurs.

This article was originally published on CNBC. Read the full piece here.


Estonian “once only” principle proposal

Government CIO of Estonia, Siim Sikkut, is working with his team to push the agenda of digitalization at a European level. The main idea is to ease the burden of bureaucracy. All the interactions between citizens or companies and public administration offices can be automated: “We ask for data to work by compliance. But if we have data then we do not have to bother you anymore, algorithms can work on compliance. Thus, we can get rid of it”, Sikkut says.

With some efforts, it would be possible to reproduce the effectiveness of the system at a European level. What would that mean, in practice? If a member state has someone’s data, another member state requiring access to the information would not need to ask the very same person for the same piece of data. A positive outcome, for instance, would be an increase in the cooperation between EU member states to facilitate daily tasks for citizens at a transnational level.

This article was originally published on Euractiv. Read the full piece here.

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The e-Estonia Showroom is an executive briefing centre. Our goal is to inspire global policy makers, political leaders, corporate executives, investors and international media to kick-off the digital transformation by sharing the successful example of e-Estonia and build links to the IT sector.

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