Ansip Pushes for Pan-European Databases at EU Summit ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: AFP/Scanpix

Meeting with other EU government leaders at a summit in Brussels yesterday, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip advocated for wide-scale adoption of digital services to replace paperwork and databases on the EU level and in individual member states.

The Estonian delegation envisions a system in which member states' databases would be streamlined, thereby cutting down on the duplication of data, reported ETV. Ideally, European citizens would only have to provide information to a single government agency, Ansip said.

Ansip introduced Estonia's wide range of electronically accessible public services, such as digital signing of documents. His team has calculated that going electronic could save the EU 2 percent of its GDP - double the union's budget.

"Of course it's an ambitious goal," Ansip said.

"Around 20,000 paper documents concerning Social Insurance Board data move between Estonia and Finland each year. Between Estonia and Finland we have begun working to solve this problem. In the future, data will move digitally across borders as well," he said, adding that the Estonian-Finnish experience could serve as a pilot project for the rest of the EU.