Admin l Saturday, 18 February 2023
TALLINN, Estonia -Germany and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have agreed on a new initiative to help streamline and accelerate growth of the digital sector in Europe.
“We have decided to strengthen our cooperation,” German Digital and Transport Minister Volker Wissing said on Friday in the Estonian capital Tallinn after a five-day visit to the three countries. “We have to catch up and become faster in Europe.”
Together, the four EU countries will establish an “Innovation Club for Europe,” with the aim of advancing digitalization across the continent.
“This can only be done with openness to technology, courage to innovate and with countries that lead the way,” Wissing said after talks with the Estonian ministers for digitalization and transport, Kristjan Järvan and Riina Sikkut.
“We are committed to seeing the opportunities of digitalization and don’t want to be held back by those who have reservations,” he added.
A working group will be set up to prepare an agenda and formulate proposals for the European Commission. Other states are also to be invited to join the initiative.
Sikkut emphasized the need for common standards, for example, in the exchange of data or the linking of services. “If we don’t have standards, then everything needs bilateral cooperation or goodwill to make it work across borders,” the minister said.
The former Soviet Baltic states were quick to embrace the change from the analogue to the digital world, and are now considered pioneers in Europe.