Speaking at a presentation of the digital results of Estonia's presidency of the Council of the EU in Brussels on Thursday, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said that a digital Europe and the free movement of data have become the goal of all of Europe.
The payment of VAT on cross-border sales of goods will soon become simpler for businesses, Ratas said according to a government press release. In addition, the EU reached an agreement regarding how to update cross-border payment regulations in order to change the situation in which online businesses only pay income tax in the country in which they are registered, not where they earn their profit.
"By next Christmas, unfair, location-based restrictions on products and services in online shops will disappear," the prime minister promised. He also highlighted, among other achievements, the Tallinn Declaration on e-Government, the Single Digital Gateway Agreement, and developments in cybersecurity cooperation.
Ratas explained that digital meant improving the choices and lives of people, not the rise of machines. "Digital solutions change all of society: from land use to space exploration, no walk of life will remain untouched," he said, justifying Estonia's decision to make digital solutions a recurring theme of its EU presidency.
During its presidency, Estonia focused on five interconnected digital fields: the free movement of data, a smart European economy, e-commerce, e-government, and trust and security. "I am pleased to confirm that a digital Europe and the free movement of data have become the goal of the whole of Europe," Ratas said.
Thursday's seminar in Brussels focusing on the digital results of Estonia's presidency was organized by Estonia's presidential team in cooperation with the Praxis Center for Policy Studies.
Estonia's presidency of the Council of the EU concludes at the end of the December, when the presidency will be handed off to Bulgaria for the first half of 2018.
Editor: Aili Vahtla