We believe Estonia, the first country to allow online voting in a general election, is a perfect place for a debate on the ‘Digital Ecosystem of the Future’. It has the world’s fastest broadband speeds and holds the record for start-ups per person. Its 1.3 Million citizens pay with their mobile phones, have their health records stored in the digital cloud, and file their annual tax return online in 10 min. Through the state online portal, businesses and public authorities can easily access all the public services. Estonia also offers citizens of other countries the opportunity to apply for e-Citizenship, which enables them to use the advanced public and private electronic services of Estonia. Success of e-Estonia is proof that a digital society is already a reality.
With such streamlined processes and reduction of bureaucracy, it is not surprising that e-Estonia has the largest number of successful start-ups per capita in the world. For instance, Skype was invented and introduced in Estonia in 2003. Examples of other known start-ups could be TransferWise, GrabCAD and Fortumo.
Estonia is also quite advanced on other fronts. It is the first country where a comprehensive network of charging stations for electric cars has been built across the entire country. You can find more than 160 charging points in different parts of the country.
In addition to all of this, Estonia will be holding the Presidency of Council of the European Union in the second half of 2017. This will give our Members a great opportunity to hear from relevant parties and to discuss with them lessons learned in e-Estonia.
We are looking forward to welcoming our Members in this perfect environment to discuss 'Shaping the Digital Ecosystem of the Future'!