Digital green transition discussed at the meeting of Nordic and Baltic ministers and Commissioner Margrethe Vestager
The first meeting of the Nordic Council of Ministers for Digitalisation during Finland’s 2021 Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers discussed the digital green transition and decided on the priorities for cooperation over the next four years. According to Minister Paatero, the Nordic and Baltic countries can serve as an example for mitigating climate change through a value-based, inclusive digital transformation that also boosts competitiveness.
Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero chaired the meeting of the Nordic Council of Ministers for Digitalisation (MR-DIGITAL) on 16 March. The meeting was attended by ministers from the Nordic and Baltic countries and Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager of the European Commission. The ministers and Commissioner Vestager discussed the digital green transition and the role to be played in this transition by the countries of the region.
In the discussions, Minister Paatero highlighted that the Nordic countries are leaders in public sector digitalisation in the EU, and that measures to tackle the pandemic have accelerated digitalisation, with large numbers of people working remotely, for example. The impact of remote working on transport emissions will be assessed by autumn. Finland’s strategy for reforming public governance sees digitalisation as a key to both environmental protection and more flexible working. The public sector must also lead the way in the procurement of sustainable and clean solutions. The Nordic and Baltic countries can work together in this.
Addressing the meeting, Minister Paatero also emphasised the shared Nordic values and the fact that by taking the lead and working together, the countries of the region can play a bigger role than their size would suggest in the search for solutions to the most urgent of global challenges.
“The Nordic welfare model combined with high technology and the responsible and sustainable use of natural resources serves as a foundation on which we can build our competitiveness in the future.”, says minister Paatero.
In the debate, Commissioner Vestager highlighted the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), for which measures are being prepared in all EU Member States. She emphasised that the RRF is a key instrument for bringing the EU out of the current crisis. The purpose of the RRF is also to help the economies of EU countries to become more flexible and to promote digital development to ensure a dual transition to sustainability and digitalisation.
Finland’s 2021 Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers marks the start of a new four-year term for the Nordic Council of Ministers for Digitalisation (MR-DIGITAL). The meeting approved a roadmap for the coming years, which defines the priorities for cooperation and sets out packages of measures. These packages include Nordic Baltic eID cooperation to promote interoperability between digital identity systems of the Nordic and Baltic countries, and a Finnish Presidency project to promote cross-border data exchange between public authorities.
Valtteri Aaltonen, Special Adviser to Minister Sirpa Paatero, tel. +358 295 530 399, valtteri.aaltonen(at)vm.fi
Katja Väänänen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 530 245, katja.vaananen(at)vm.fi