Today 59

Yesterday 117

All 39337663

Wednesday, 27.09.2023
eGovernment Forschung seit 2001 | eGovernment Research since 2001

There aren't many news stories about Estonia, a tiny country in northern Europe. The Baltic Sea nation, which is only home to about 1.2 million people, is occasionally eclipsed by its larger eastern neighbour, Russia, despite having a smaller population.

In a nation that suffered greatly under Soviet rule for many years, Estonia's borders are being directly affected by the war between Russia and Ukraine. In 1991, when Estonia declared its independence from the Soviet Union, Ukraine was one of the first nations to do so. Since then, Estonia has been a steadfast ally of Ukraine.

The demand for aid to be given to Ukraine and for it to join NATO and the EU has been spearheaded by Estonia. It expelled Russia's ambassador earlier this year in response to Moscow's directive for the Estonian ambassador to depart the nation by February 7.

Tallinn was charged with being Russophobic by Moscow and with destroying its ties to Moscow on purpose. Tensions had increased in January following a meeting of representatives from 11 NATO countries at an army base in Estonia to discuss a number of new initiatives to aid Ukraine in regaining lost ground and fending off any further Russian advances.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February 2022, Estonia, one of the three Baltic states (the other two being Lithuania and Latvia), has donated over EUR429 million ($473.7 million) in defence aid, humanitarian aid, and reconstruction efforts for Ukraine. It has also set aside about EUR220 million ($242.9 million) of its 2022 budget for the housing of Ukrainian refugees.

Since joining the EU and NATO in 2004, Estonia has maintained strong diplomatic and political ties with the EU and other Western nations. Moscow has taken offence at its backing of Ukraine and outspoken criticism of Russian actions there. Estonian intelligence services have warned that Russia is becoming a more serious threat to Estonia and the other Baltic states this year.

Estonia is poised to grow into one of the world's digital powerhouses despite its small size and hostile relations with Russia. The nation's twenty-year-old digital transformation has made it a model for other smaller countries looking to digitalize their own economies and governmental institutions.

Saudi Arabia and Estonia, despite being geographically far apart, have one thing in common: they have both undergone a total digital transformation. Nearly all of Estonia's government services are digitalized, just like in Saudi Arabia.

The interaction of Estonia and technology is nothing new. A team of programmers from Estonia created the software that powers the popular communications tool Skype, which is used by tens of millions of people every day. The nation's parliament proclaimed internet access in 2000.

People from all over the world are now able to become digital residents of Estonia thanks to Estonia's 2014 launch of the world's first e-residency initiative. Estonia currently has more than 84,000 e-residents and more than 16,000 e-resident companies, enabling those with an e-residency to establish and manage businesses entirely online.

Only marriages, divorces, and the sale of real estate necessitate Estonian citizens appearing in person at a government office, according to the former president of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who stated this in 2018 to the International Monetary Fund's Finance and Development magazine.

In order to maintain diplomatic relations with the Arab world, Estonia has worked very hard. Since 2019, Jaan Reinhold has served as Estonia's accredited ambassador to the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.

Estonia has been actively promoting trade with Gulf countries in recent years. The first-ever digital census of Oman was conducted by the Estonian business Nortal in 2020.

Two years later, the company would become the first business from Estonia to join the Digital Cooperation Organisation, an international project led by Saudi Arabia that aims to improve cooperation in a number of technological areas, including cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity.

Government ministers, ambassadors, and business executives met in Riyadh in 2021 for the Saudi-Estonian Business Forum to discuss global trade, defence, entrepreneurship, and digitalization.

To establish and strengthen ties in the food and beverage industry, the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency sent a trade mission to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia last year.

The collaboration between the digital and economic sectors has been rapidly expanding. Chemi-Pharm, an Estonian pharmaceutical company, announced in March of this year that it would be participating in a business mission to Saudi Arabia of Estonian health and technology companies.

The future of Estonia appears promising, and the nation consistently ranks at the top of global indices that rank economic freedom, prosperity, and living conditions.

In terms of economic freedom, Estonia was ranked third out of 44 European nations this year by the Heritage Foundation and sixth overall by the Freedom House in Washington. Estonia received a score of 94 out of 100 in the Freedom in the World 2023 rankings.

Kaja Kallas, the prime minister of Estonia, has mentioned that great success also entails responsibility.

She said this in a speech in February commemorating the 105th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia in the city of Tartu. "We have been so successful in building a well-being society that it sometimes makes us feel that we do not have to ensure this well-being ourselves, but that we can simply enjoy what has been created elsewhere here," she said.

It is naive to think that Estonia will only support the growth of strawberries and flowers. We have to pull the sledge up the hill before we can slide down it.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Aniket Dixit

Quelle/Source: News Track, 14.05.2023

Bitte besuchen Sie/Please visit:

Go to top