Iceland prime minister meets with Estonian counterpart in Tallinn

The prime ministers of Estonia and Iceland, Jüri Ratas and Katrín Jakobsdóttir, met earlier this year.
The prime ministers of Estonia and Iceland, Jüri Ratas and Katrín Jakobsdóttir, met earlier this year. Source: Office of the Government of Estonia

Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir (VG) was in Tallinn on Wednesday, meeting with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre), where the two leaders discussed cooperation between the two states in the digital field.

"Iceland and Estonia have long enjoyed a genuine sense of friendship which is always of great value. Ms Jakobsdóttir said, according to spokespersons.

''We know that Estonia has been a leader in the development of e-governance for many years now, including e-voting, e-residency, and e-embassy. Iceland is currently forming a policy on increased investment in innovation and research. We appreciate this opportunity to acquaint ourselves with best practices on this front and hopefully learn from Estonia's experience. We have to bear in mind that digitization is no longer a political goal but more of a practical reality and we are looking forward to our discussions with Estonia on these matters," the Icelandic premier continued.

"Iceland and Estonia are close friends and partners who share a common understanding on digitisation and e-governance,'' Jüri Ratas said of the meeting, according to government spokespersons.

''We both understand that digital solutions help the society to operate more efficiently and transparently," he went on.

Both nations NATO members

"Today, our main focus was to find ways for intensifying data exchange and digital cooperation. It is important that we, along with our closest friends and neighbors from the Nordic region, can really achieve a free movement of data which is not limited with state borders. Together with the Nordics, we could become the most digitally united region in the world," Mr Ratas added.

The prime ministers also discussed the cooperation of Iceland and Estonia within NATO, of which both are members, and regional cooperation between the Nordic and the Baltic states. The partnership between the eight Baltic and Nordic states, namely Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, as well as Estonia and Iceland, is currently being coordinated by Iceland, set to pass on the duty to Estonia next year.

Ms Jakobsdóttir's entourage includes minister of finance and economic affairs, and former prime minister, Bjarni Benediktsson, whose responsibilities include IT development.

The Icelandic delegation also met with Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Rene Tammist (SDE) and is set to visit the Estonian Information System Authority (RIA) and the e-Estonia showroom.

The NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup in Estonia also includes one Icelandic representative.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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