Estonian minister: Digital services must be made available to all EU citizens

  • 2021-06-06
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The digital services of EU member states must be made available to all European citizens, Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Andres Sutt said at a meeting of EU telecommunications ministers.

The EU telecommunications ministers meeting in Luxembourg saw discussions held on the topic of the European Digital Compass, including Europe's goals in digitization for the next ten years, spokespeople for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said. In addition, the European Commission also introduced its vision for the newly announced European Digital Identity.

Sutt said that Europe needs more ambition in the area of digitization in order to meet the expectations of European citizens and needs of businesses.

"Digitization is not a goal in itself; it creates practical solutions and added value from which our businesses and citizens will benefit," he said. 

The minister added that Estonia supports the creation of Europe's Digital Compass establishing the milestones for assessing progress towards the objectives of Europe's Digital Decade in four key areas proposed by the European Commission -- digital skills, safe and functional digital infrastructure and the digitization of entrepreneurship and public services. 

"Estonian citizens should be able to access the same e-services that are available to Belgian nationals and vice versa. The e-ID solutions and services created by member states should be available across borders," Sutt said.

The European Commission presented this week a framework for trusted and secure digital identity for all Europeans. The framework also aims to provide a digital wallet for member states' citizens and businesses enabling to link the digital ID to other identification and switch from paper documents to digital ones. The digital wallet would build on digital ID issued by member states, thus Estonia's and other states' ID cards and e-ID solutions would not be replaced; instead all states would become subject to an obligation to make reliable digital ID available to their citizens.