Competitiveness and information technology ministers of the EU, who met in Tallinn on Tuesday, discussed how the potential of the European Digital Single Market could be utilized with the aid of the free movement of data.
"Good digital solutions, which we use at home every day when communicating with state institutions, for example, should also be accessible when going through similar procedures in other countries," Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simsn, who led the meeting as a representative of Estonia's EU presidency, said in a press release. "I called for my colleagues to think about how we can jointly improve the user experience of the single market both for the citizens and businesses."
The free movement of data between the public institutions of different countries would mean, for example, that an Estonian architect would not have to submit additional documents or their translations when applying for a business permit in order to design a building located in another member state. Information submitted in Estonia and checked by local officials can move digitally to another country's relevant institution, where it would be possible to instantly identify what kind of jurisdiction and rights that person has.
"Stimulating the cross-border provision of services has a positive effect on the economy as a whole," the minister explained. "It supports the establishment and expansion of business and the creation of jobs, and it gives consumers more choice at more affordable prices."
The main aim of the ministerial meeting in Tallinn on Tuesday was to highlight obstacles hindering the free movement of data as well as find options to move forward in that field. Simson said that the efficient and safe exchange of data is still a big challenge for a number of European countries.
The ministers also signed an agreement on a common foundation for a future 5G network. The declaration of intent seeks to position Europe at the forefront of the new technology.
Estonia's aim during its presidency of the Council of the EU, which began on July 1 and runs through the end of the year, is to progress as far as possible in negotiation with other member states concerning the issues of a services e-card which supports the free movement of data as well as the single digital gateway bill.
Editor: Aili Vahtla