Digital technologies and tools are developing rapidly and represent crucial drivers for promoting green transition, economic growth and tackling COVID-19 and future pandemics. It is therefore important that the Nordic and Baltic countries continue the strong partnership and cooperation on sustainable and green digital transformation.
By setting new goals for the cooperation on digital transformation the Nordic-Baltic countries are taking serious steps in realizing the vision of becoming the most integrated and sustainable region in the world by 2030. In doing so it´s important that new digital technologies and data can be used and shared in a fair, open, and democratic way to tackle societal challenges.
On October 1st 2020, the Nordic-Baltic ministers in charge of digital development adopted a joint declaration, Digital North 2.0. The declaration points out three overarching goals framing the cooperation in 2021-2024:
1. Increasing mobility and integration in the Nordic and Baltic region by building a common area for cross-border digital services based on secure data exchange and eID interoperability
2. Promoting green economic growth and development in the Nordic-Baltic region through data-driven innovation and a fair data economy for efficient sharing and re-use of data
3. Promoting Nordic-Baltic leadership in the EU/EEA and globally on digital transformation of our societies in a sustainable and inclusive manner. For instance, by encouraging the development of new testing facilities on 5G and monitor the development of 5G application.
The work on the new declaration has been led by the Danish Minister for Finance as under the Danish presidency of Nordic Council of Ministers in 2020. Finland is set to take the lead in 2021 and will during their presidency work to realise the ambitious goals of the new declaration and focus on promoting the digital integration of the region.
“The year 2020 and the covid-19 crisis has taught us a lot about the full potential of digital technologies. Looking ahead – developing and utilising advanced digital technologies and data in an ambitious, innovative, secure, and ethical manner is highly important when it comes to improving and increasing the mobility and integration in the Nordic-Baltic region. They are important tools for the strong and green economic growth that we need,” says Sirpa Paatero, the Minister of Local Government in the finnish Ministry of Finance.
Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers Paula Lehtomäki is pleased that the ministers in charge of digital development have decided to continue and strengthen the digital co-operation for four more years.
“The Nordic and Baltic countries are among the global leaders on digital governance. It’s important to take advantage of the good preconditions and take responsibility showing how digital transformation can make our societies stronger, more resilient, more integrated and more equitable. We need to put security, responsibility, accountability and ethical concerns at the forefront of our design of digital tools to strengthen the digital trust in our societies,” says Lehtomäki.