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Home NATIONALFinland,Estonia plan joint digital future
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Wed, 11 May, 2016 12:50:23 AM
FTimes-Xinhua Report, May 11

Finland and Estonia rolled out an extensive roadmap for wider exchange of information on digital platforms between the two countries, as the Prime Minister Juha Sipilä met his Estonian counterpart Taavi Rõivas in Helsinki on Tuesday.

Rõivas said that Finland and Estonia would be the first countries in the world with "a joint digital administrative systems" within a few years. He said that cooperation in information technology will "make both countries bigger."

Sipilä and Rõivas said a speedy development is possible. Media reports said that a concrete schedule would be available at the end of 2016.

The planned digital exchange of information will cover population registration, social welfare and health services of residents and taxation. Rõivas illustrated that doctors' prescriptions could be retrieved from data bases in both countries.

They said that cooperation will be easy as the two countries use the same type of digital platforms. In Estonia it is called X-Road and in Finland Palveluvayla.

While the bilateral future looks bright, the statements on regional security reflected different approaches.

Rõivas said the worsened security situation in the Baltic area concerns all countries of the region. "It is difficult to see that the security of Finland would differ from the security of Estonia, Sweden or Poland," Rõivas said.

He underlined however that whether Finland joins NATO one day will be only for the Finns to decide. "Whatever Finland decides, Estonia will support Finland."

Sipilä said the Finnish government determined that the country is "militarily non-aligned" and he assured that Finland would not file an application for NATO membership for the time being.

The two countries are separated by the Gulf of Finland. Tens of thousands of Estonians commute to work in Finland these days, as salaries are essentially higher in Finland.

 
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