Speaking at the opening of the Tallinn Digital Summit in Estonia on Friday, President Kersti Kaljulaid likened paper-based processes to fossil fuels and highlighted the importance of progressing toward a more digital EU.
"In some ways, the current paper processes are like fossil fuel — they have formed over generations of people and lawmakers, getting more complex over time, more and more political compromises weaved into them as the bureaucracies grow," Kaljulaid said according to a press release.
The Estonian president noted that the initiatives contained in the European Union's Digital Single Market Strategy could help progress towards cross-border digital services on an EU-wide basis, based on principles such once-only or digital by default.
"The joint call to have this by 2018 is extremely important, because we have to maintain the pressure for final agreement on all these proposals," Kaljulaid said.
People will have to trust in the digital environment, and for this reason, ensuring privacy and cybersecurity has been a prerequisite for building our digital government, she continued.
"Remarkable amount of jobs created by technology development are surprisingly neutral to the occupations or educations in their nature — one might even call them egalitarian opportunities," the Estonian head of state highlighted. "Think of a youtuber, or someone selling handicrafts online, or renting their property via Airbnb."
People offer services or sell goods globally, reside in one country or travel the globe without a concrete residence, which is why we must quickly think of ways to keep them connected to our social security networks, Kaljulaid added.
The heads of government of EU member states gathered in Tallinn on Friday for the Tallinn Digital Summit. The aim of the summit was to serve as a platform for launching high-level discussions on plans for digital innovation for Europe to stay ahead of the technological curve and be a digital leader in the global world in the years to come.
Editor: Aili Vahtla