TALLINN - Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas and his Icelandic colleague Katrin Jakobsdottir met in Tallinn on Wednesday and the two government leaders discussed cooperation between the two states in the digital field.
"Iceland and Estonia are close friends and partners who share a common understanding on digitization and e-governance. We both understand that digital solutions help the society to operate more efficiently and transparently," Ratas was quoted by government spokespeople as saying.
"Today, our main focus was to find ways for intensifying data exchange and digital cooperation. It is important that we, along with our closest friends and neighbors from the Nordic region, could really achieve free movement of data that is not limited with state borders. Together with the Nordics, we could become the most digitally united region in the world," the prime minister said.
"Iceland and Estonia have long enjoyed a genuine sense of friendship which is always of great value. We know that Estonia has been a leader in the development of e-governance for many years now, including electronic voting, e-residency, and e-embassy. Iceland is currently forming a policy on increased investment in innovation and research. We appreciate this opportunity to acquaint ourselves with best practices on this front and hopefully learn from Estonia's experience. We have to bear in mind that digitization is no longer a political goal but more of a practical reality and we are looking forward to our discussions with Estonia on these matters," Jakobsdottir said.
The prime ministers also discussed the cooperation of Iceland and Estonia within NATO and regional cooperation between the Nordic and the Baltic states. The partnership between the eight Baltic and Nordic states -- Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland -- is currently coordinated by Iceland who will pass on the duty to Estonia next year.
The prime minister of Iceland is visiting Estonia with a high-level delegation and Bjarni Benediktsson, minister of finance and economic affairs, whose responsibilities include IT development.
The delegation also met with Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Rene Tammist and are to also visit the Estonian Information System Authority (RIA) and the e-Estonia showroom.