Estonia

Estonia is a small country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. The capital, Tallinn, dates back to the 13th century and its Historic Centre, the Old Town is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. With sparse population, over half of Estonia is covered with forests, the country has the 4th best urban air quality in the world and 2222 islands along its coastline. With a total population of 1.3 million, about 1.1 million people speak Estonian, making it one of the world’s smallest official national languages. Estonians themselves speak a variety of other languages and have also mastered the language of technology: Skype revolutionized communication, TransferWise has changed international money transfers, GrabCAD helps to build products faster, Bolt is transforming city transport, and Starship robots reframe local delivery. With 4 unicorns per 1.3 million people, Estonians are considered a tech-savvy nation.


The country has also transformed the government into a digital government, branding itself as e-Estonia. It was the first country to adopt online voting in 2005, first country with a data embassy and the first country to offer cross-border digital identity to anyone in the world. E-Estonia is efficient, secure and is run on transparent e-infrastructure that has almost eliminated bureaucracy. Estonians use digital signatures, file their taxes, and manage businesses online. While the implementation of digital solutions to increase public sector efficiency started in Estonia already almost twenty years ago, e-Estonia continues to master technology with continuous experimentation and by attracting innovative minds.


The digital government policy is led by the Government CIO and his team, positioned in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications; however, each ministry is considered to be a digital ministry in their own domain. The CIO’s role is to set the horizontal strategy and policies, to launch and steer strategic development initiatives and regulation, to represent the government in the EU and other international organisations or collaboration formats, such as the Digital Nations. The CIO also controls the Information System Authority of Estonia that coordinates the development and administration of the state’s information systems and functions as the national cybersecurity agency.

 

Further reading

on Estonia's digital initiatives

 

Our Estonian Colleagues

Raul Siem

Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology


Siim Sikkut

Chief Information Officer of Estonia
DN Senior Official

Twitter @sikkut

Indrek Õnnik

Global Affairs Director
DN Lead


 

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