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Finland to promote digitalisation during its 2021 Presidency of Nordic Council of Ministers

Ministry of Education and CultureMinistry of FinanceMinistry of JusticeMinistry of Social Affairs and Health
21.1.2021 10.31
Press release

Finland holds the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021. In connection with the Presidency, Finland launched a project at the start of the year entitled ‘World’s smoothest cross-border mobility and daily life through digitalisation'. Its aim is to improve the cross-border mobility and cross-border daily activities of people and businesses by promoting information exchange between public authorities in the Nordic countries. The project will create an operational framework and good practices for stronger and more effective cross-border exchange of information. The project will run for three years, from 2021 to 2023. 

According to the shared vision adopted by the Nordic Prime Ministers in 2019, the Nordic countries will become the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. The achievement of this objective will be furthered through cooperation conducted within the Nordic Council of Ministers. In the project launched by Finland’s Presidency, an operational framework for information exchange will be developed with the aid of inputs on services and data for situations and events associated with cross-border mobility. One of the project’s aims is that e-prescriptions issued in Finland could in future also be obtained from pharmacies in the other Nordic countries. 

“Promoting smooth information exchange between the Nordic countries and the EU countries is essential to facilitate cross-border economic activity and free movement of people, for work, study and leisure. According to the Government Programme, the Nordic countries must become the best integrated region in the world and Finland aims to further facilitate the movement of citizens between the Nordic countries,” says Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero. 

Measures currently being taken to combat the coronavirus epidemic are severely restricting the movement of people between the Nordic countries. However, the project mainly focuses on the period beyond the virus crisis. Furthering the cross-border exchange of information is something that will help people’s daily activities not only in normal circumstances but during any future crisis.

The project will examine the exchange of information and everyday cross-border activity by focusing on three key aspects: 

  1. Studying in other Nordic countries and the three Baltic countries
  2. Using healthcare services in another Nordic country or the Baltic countries
  3. A search engine for statutes covering the Nordic and Baltic countries’ legislation.

The project will begin with a study of the current situation, which will create a picture of people's everyday cross-border life. The main output of the project will be a joint frame-work for stronger and more effective cross-border exchange of information.

The Ministry of Finance will implement the project in cooperation with the Ministry of So-cial Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Justice, together with their administrative branches. All the Nordic countries and the three Baltic countries are participating in the project, which is entitled ‘World’s smoothest cross-border mobility and daily life through digitalisation’.   

Inquiries: 

Ministry of Finance:     

Valtteri Aaltonen, Special Adviser to Minister 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

Digital and Population Data Services Agency:   

Torbjörn Sandell, Project Manager, tel. +358 295 535 299, torbjorn.sandell(at)dvv.fi

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health:

Sari Palojoki, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 163 456, sa-ri.palojoki(at)stm.fi 

Ministry of Education and Culture:

Jonna Korhonen,  Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 330 008, [email protected]

Ministry of Justice:     

Aki Hietanen, Head of Development, tel. +358 295 150 510, aki.hietanen(at)om.fi

Finland will hold the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021. It has prepared a Presidency Programme for this. The Nordic Council of Ministers consists of a number of ministerial councils, one of which is the Nordic Council of Ministers for Digitalisation (MR-Digital). In addition to the Nordic countries, the Baltic countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithua-nia are also participating in MR-Digital’s work.