Though embracing technological change is part of the EU's principles, in practice only a small number of the union's members are making the implementation of digital solutions a priority. The Tallinn Digital Summit taking place today, Friday, is bringing the issue on the order of the day.
As Luukas Ilves, digital affairs advisor at Estonia's permanent representation to the EU, pointed out at a meeting of journalists and digital entrepreneurs in Tallinn on Thursday evening, what distinguishes Estonia these days is how natural the application of digital technologies has become — others may have more sophisticated solutions, but Estonia's enthusiasm in applying her own is unmatched.
This attitude is also reflected in the coverage of the Digital Summit in the European press. Across languages and countries, the Friday morning issues of Europe's most important papers and news portals are concentrating mainly on German Chancellor Angela Merkel meeting French President Emmanuel Macron, and the implications France's willingness to push for EU reform has for Merkel's own European course.
The summit to take place today will discuss digital and technological development and the EU's attitude towards it within a timeframe of roughly eight years. The most important areas delegates and heads of state and government will have to take into account, according to Estonia's EU presidency, are trust, security, e-government, industry, society, and the economy.
At around 11 a.m. the first foreign dignitaries will arrive at the Tallinn Creative Hub. Once they're in, they will be guided through the summit's Digital Expo, where they will have a chance to look at how different companies and state institutions use digital technologies, blockchain among them.
Shortly after 12 p.m., President Kersti Kaljulaid will give the opening speech of the summit, followed by a keynote speech of Prof. Jarno Limnéll of Aalto University. Limnéll is the university's resident expert on cybersecurity.
The summit's first session follows, where officials will discuss the future of government. The session is chaired by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center).
At 1:30 p.m., the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will present a map of the European Union's sanctions against Russia.
After 3 p.m. the heads of state and government will assemble for the traditional "family photo."
The second session will begin shortly before 4 p.m. and discuss the future of the European economy and society. The press conferences wrapping up the summit are expected to begin shortly after 6 p.m.
Editor: Dario Cavegn