President Kersti Kaljulaid on Tuesday said that e-residency must take into consideration a wider societal benefit, adding that cooperation between the public and private sectors has a vital role to play in the e-residency project.
"We must clarify whether e-residents are a community of our friends, a platform of e-services for the entrepreneurs of the world or some third or fourth thing," Kaljulaid said in a press release. "We must also jointly reach an understanding regarding how both an entrepreneur in Võru and an accountant in Saaremaa could benefit from the programme."
Representatives of state institutions and the private sector involved in the e-residency programme met in the old Ice Cellar building of Kadriorg Palace on Tuesday to discuss an interim review of the e-Residency 2.0 project and agree on the next steps.
Assessing the results of the meeting, the head of state considered it important that a lot of work has been done over the summer, and that those people on whose desks risks concerning e-residents are piled remain on board.
At Kaljulaid's invitation, parties involved in the e-residency programme gathered for a joint discussion in June in order to reach a joint understanding on how to increase the benefits of the programme for the Estonian state and society. Working groups that had gathered in the meantime gave an overview on Tuesday of the risk analysis between the agencies as well as opportunities for developing the programme further.
2.0 roadmap to be completed by December
E-Residency managing director Kaspar Korjus said that intense work will begin in the near future that will lay the groundwork for the future development of e-residency as a product and will specify the focus of e-residency. "We have agreed that a jointly approved roadmap for moving forward will be completed by December," he noted.
Deputy Secretary General for Internal Security, Public Order and Migration Policy Raivo Küüt of the Ministry of the Interior was the one to lead the mapping of risks involved in the e-residency programme. He noted that the message was clear — the e-residency programme must be transparent, and Estonia would not tolerate the hiding of taxes.
"We will implement all measures to prevent possible damage," Küüt said. "We have specified the risks concerning e-residency with partners and are in the process of updating plans for mitigating these risks."
Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Rene Tammist (SDE) said that the e-residency programme has several positive impacts, and the return from this year alone exceeds all expenses that have been made for the programme over the course of the years of operation.
"The state has also gained fame, new allies and, through this, also security," Tammist highlighted. "But there is still room for improvement, and it is thus important to listen to feedback from entrepreneurs. Thanks to the e-residency programme, Estonian companies must have more opportunities for exporting their products and services everywhere in the world."
An e-Residency 2.0 roadmap is to be completed by and published in December, on the basis of which e-residency will move toward the developed 2.0 version.
Editor: Aili Vahtla