The Estonian Information System Authority (RIA) and the Finnish Population Register Center (VRK) signed an agreement on Friday to connect the Estonian data exchange layer X-Road and its Finnish equivalent Palveluväylä by next April at the latest. This step will create the foundation for data exchange between the national datasets of Estonia and Finland, said the RIA.
According to Heiko Väinsalu, area manager at RIA, the secure and smooth exchange of data between Estonia and Finland will facilitate the provision of e-services to citizens of both countries.
Estonia and Finland are slated to begin jointly developing the X-Road data exchange layer and possibly other e-governance services as well in the future, the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications statedon Friday.
"Estonia and Finland plan to establish a nonprofit association financed equally by members," ministry spokesman Mihkel Loide told BNS. Although the joint development will start with X-Road's base software, in setting up the nonprofit the possibility of including other components of e-governance base technology will be taken into account, he added.
The two countries are seeking partners among other countries as well. "With each additional member, the principle of equal contribution will remain in place, but the investment need of each member will decrease," noted the spokesman.
Estonia will be earmarking 1.16 million euros of state budget funds for the project next year; Finland will be making an equal contribution. "The purpose of this investment is to continue cooperation with Finland and ensure the sustainable development of the X-Road platform on an international level," explained Loide.
According to the RIA, X-Road is "a technological and organizational environment enabling a secure Internet-based data exchange between information systems." An English-language explanation of X-road can found on the RIA's homepage here.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla