TALLINN - Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas highlighted the construction of the very high-speed 5G internet connection, which brings the internet and self-driving cars into the everyday lives of people, as one of the biggest digital achievements of Estonia's EU presidency in a speech on Thursday in Brussels.
According to Ratas, the payment of value added tax on the cross-border sale of goods will soon become simpler for undertakings. In addition, the European Union reached an agreement on how to update cross-border payment regulations in order to change the situation in which internet businesses only pay income tax in the state in which they are registered, not where they earn their profit.
"By Christmas of next year, the unfair, location-based restrictions on products and services in web shops will disappear," Ratas said at the seminar listing the digital results of Estonia's presidency, which was organized by Estonia's presidential team together with the influential Praxis Center for Policy Studies. In addition, Ratas cited, among other things, the e-government joint resolution, which was signed in Tallinn, the Single Digital Gateway Agreement, and developments in cyber security cooperation.
Ratas explained that digital means improving the choices and lives of people, not the rise of the machines. "Digital solutions change all of society: from land use to space exploration, no walk of life remains untouched," Ratas said, justifying Estonia's decision to make digital solutions a recurring theme of its presidency.
During its presidency, Estonia focused on five interconnected digital fields: the free movement of data, smart European economy, e-commerce, e-government, and trust and security.
"I am pleased to confirm that digital Europe and the free movement of data have become the goal of the whole of Europe," Ratas said.