Prime minister hopes for development of digital cooperation between Estonia, Germany
Speaking at SpaceX Event Center in Tallinn on Thursday, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas expressed hope that following German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Estonia, Estonian IT businesses and experts would have the opportunity to cooperate with partners in Germany in initiating a digital revolution in the industry and developing smart cyber solutions together.
“Our era requires open and positive forward-focused thinking," said Rõivas according to an Estonian government press release. "Pooling Estonia and Germany’s strengths provides a great opportunity for a Europe facing new challenges. Estonia's expertise in information technology and Germany’s industrial might must be turned into an engine that gives a new impetus to Europe’s economies. I know that Estonian IT companies and professionals are ready for such cooperation."
Merkel and Rõivas visited the e-Estonia Showroom and the SpaceX Event Center on Thursday, where the chancellor delivered a speech entitled "Estonia, a pioneer in digital technology, and Germany, a global industrial power — shaping the future of Europe together."
Rõivas also presented Merkel with an Estonian e-Resident ID-card as a seal on future cooperation between the two countries, making Merkel Estonia's 11,867th e-resident.
Chancellor Merkel has had a sustained interest in the e-Estonia success story. It was on Merkel's invidation that Rõivas visited Germany in May of this year to attend a German cabinet retreat in Meseberg. At the meeting, the Estonian prime minister presented an overview of the modern digital state and cyber security, highlighting Estonian e-government and cyber security experience.
"I hope that my visit to Meseberg this spring and Chancellor Merkel's visit to Tallinn today will lay the foundations for concrete cooperation between Estonia and Germany in the IT field," said Rõivas during Wednesday's meeting with Merkel. "Estonian IT companies and experts are keen to cooperate with Germans in order to find new solutions to boost our economies and improve the lives of our citizens."
On Wednesday, Rõivas and Merkel visited the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCD COE) in Tallinn — one of the main reasons for Merkel's visit to Estonia. Germany is the defense center's second largest contributor after Estonia; the decision to become a founding member of the center was made by Merkel's first government.
Germany is also in the process of implementing an important reform in develping its cyber security, including, among other things, the launch of its national cyber command.