Estonia propels the EU forward on the digital front

Estonia is committed to using its EU Council Presidency to make a big leap forward towards a digital Europe. Drawing on its experience as one of the most digitalised countries in Europe, the Presidency will host 45 events devoted to the digital agenda, one of which CEPS will be co-organising in Brussels on December 14th. Speaking at a lunchtime meeting at CEPS on July 6th, the Estonia’s Permanent Representative to the EU Kaja Tael announced that data has become new coal and steel and that free movement of data was not being fully exploited. Free access to data is the solution, but she emphasised that it must be strengthened at a cross-border level. The Ambassador challenged Europe to become more digitalised, thereby reducing paperwork and potentially saving 2% of GDP. Ms Tael also noted that the tech transformation should also help to advance social inclusion and sustainability for her fellow Estonians. Other important themes for the country’s Presidency are the more conventional growth and employment, security and safety, as well as advancing European defence capabilities.