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Nordic and Baltic countries take action to promote digital inclusion

Ministry of Finance
22.11.2021 14.04
Press release

Stronger digital inclusion and the European Digital Identity will be on the agenda when the Nordic and Baltic ministers responsible for digitalisation in public administration meet on Friday 26 November.

The meeting of the Nordic Council of Ministers for Digitalisation, organised as part of Finland’s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers, will be opened and chaired by Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero, who is responsible for digitalisation in public administration in Finland.

“The Nordic and Baltic countries are important international cooperation partners for Finland when it comes to digitalisation. It is important that we work together to develop cross-border digital services and thereby facilitate mobility in the region,” says Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero.

The most important item on the meeting agenda is the promotion of digital inclusion, on which the ministers intend to issue a joint declaration. 

“Our societies are built on democracy, equality, human capital and social responsibility. We must ensure continued compliance with these principles in the digital transformation in our region. Digital inclusion is a key requirement for our successful digital transformation and competitiveness,” Paatero says.

Member of the European Parliament Miapetra Kumpula-Natri will give an introductory speech on the topic.

Promotion of the digital green transition has been one of the main themes of the year, and the ministers are expected to reach decisions on this matter at their meeting. The ministers are expected to decide on new digital transformation measures aimed at building green data spaces.

“We need a comprehensive policy that combines digitalisation and environmental issues. We must be able to make more efficient use of digital solutions to support the green transition,” Paatero says. 

Progress in the preparation of digital identity 

The ministers will also discuss the European Digital Identity. Roberto Viola, Director General of DG CONNECT, who is responsible for digital affairs at the European Commission, will provide an introduction on the topic. The European Digital Identity is a tool for EU citizens, residents, and businesses who want to identify themselves or provide confirmation of certain personal information.

The development of digital identity in Finland centres on a project led by the Ministry of Finance that seeks to create equitable conditions and opportunities for everyone accessing public services to present officially confirmed identity details in digital form. The project will enable electronic identification of people from Finland in the services of other EU Member States while accommodating ongoing joint European development work.

Inquiries:
Katja Väänänen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 530 245, katja.vaananen(at)gov.fi

The Nordic Council of Ministers is the official collaborative forum of the governments of the Nordic countries. The Council of Ministers for Digitalisation comprises the Nordic countries and the Baltic countries: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Finland holds the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021.