The Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo and Director General of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Finland, Anna-Maija Karjalainen, signed a contract for the establishment of a non-profit organisation, which will make the exchange of data between the two countries much more effective. The name of the established non-profit organisation is the Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions (NIIS) and it will be located in Tallinn.
According to Urve Palo, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, the cooperation with Finland will also show other Member States that transnational data sharing is indeed doable and realistic. „Estonia and Finland have been successfully cooperating in the ICT sector for a long time, exchanging data across borders and preparing for the development of a common X-Road. If the Estonian ICT success story started with the fact that we took over the Finns' ID-card, then now it’s Finland’s turn to accelerate the development of e-services through the use of X-Road. This will be a big step forward in the joint development of X-Road and in the cross-border exchange of data,“said Palo.
„In practice, the data between the public authorities located across the Gulf of Finland, will start being shared next year. So far the greatest interest has been shown by the Civil Registries and Tax Authorities on both sides of the border. The development of X-Road gives us the opportunity to lay the foundations for a European Digital Single Market for cross-border public services and to facilitate the lives of increasingly mobile citizens and businesses,“ added Palo.
In the future, the cross-border cooperation will make the development of X-Road more promising for Estonia, as NIIS is financed out of the budgets of both countries. By 2017, a membership fee of 920,500 euros has been agreed upon.
The goal of the established association is to ensure the quality and sustainability of e-government infrastructure and the functioning of international cooperation. X-Road is one of the most important pillars of the Estonian e-state. With its impeccable and sustainable operation it is possible to ensure the functioning of the state information system. X-Road is a secure data-exchange layer for information systems that allows databases and registers to interact securely and within certain powers. Approximately one thousand Estonian agencies exchange data through X-Road and the „visible parts“ of it are for example the services accessible through the website eesti.ee.