Digital transformation highlights in the Nordic-Baltic Region

September 03, 2019

The 5G Techritory Forum is fast approaching and we are excited to have the Nordic Council of Ministers on board as one of the main supporting partners of the Forum.

The Nordic Council of Ministers is the official body for inter-governmental co-operation in the Nordic Region. It has continuously proved to be an important and relevant discussion platform in the regulation and exploitation of digitalization within the region. ‍

To promote a cohesive and integrated digital Nordic Region, the Council has established MR-DIGITAL – an ad hoc council of ministers for a four-year period from 2017 to 2020. As with the Nordic Council of Ministers itself, the collaboration in this particular ministerial council includes the Nordic and Baltic countries. The MR-DIGITAL council will benefit the region’s residents, businesses, and public administration – and we are already seeing the results. 

Here are some of the main points of success that have been achieved in the Nordic-Baltic region with the assistance of the Nordic Council of Ministers and MR-DIGITAL: 

Nordic-Baltic eID for borderless access to digital services

Borderless access to digital services will make it easier for citizens and enterprises to carry out transactions, such as:

  • Declaring income for taxation purposes
  • Applying for an education program
  • Issuing or obtaining medication with an e-prescription
  • Using bank services across borders in the Nordic-Baltic region. 

Having coordinated the exchange of personal Identifiers (PIDs) and clarified security levels, the Nordic-Baltic co-operation has delivered important contributions to eID interoperability based on the European Union’s eIDAS regulation.   

According to the timeline approved by the Nordic and Baltic governments, citizens will have access to digital services across borders by the end of 2020 or at the beginning of 2021.


Creating a common area for cross-border collaboration

MR-DIGITAL launched a new work program that sets out the various tasks and objectives for the Nordic-Baltic cooperation on cross-border digital services. An important first step is to carry out a study in 2019 identifying citizens’ needs for access to digital services across borders. The Nordic Council of Ministers will initiate this study in the second half of 2019. Some of the objectives of the work program include:

  • The selection of 5-7 digital services for cross-border access
  • Secure data exchange and technical interoperability across borders
  • Coordinated implementation of Single Digital Gateway Regulation 

The Nordic Council of Ministers is also working on cross-border digital services in different areas. As for instance on: 

  • ePrescriptions
  • procurement
  • Registration of business data
  • DIGINNO: Promotion of re-use and free movement of data 

With a more structured collaboration on cross-border digital services, the Nordic-Baltic countries will intensify the work and take bigger steps in the coming years paving the way to be a digitally integrated region. 

Current initiatives

MR-DIGITAL has been active in setting up an effective and operational framework with 3 priorities in mind:

  • 5G collaboration (policy coordination and promoting testbed)
  • Promoting the rollout of cross-border digital services
  • Promoting AI in businesses and public sector 

Overall, some of the most remarkable initiatives are:

  • The Nordic research project on the impact of digitalization on the future of work
  • Use of information and communications technologies and exchange of data in healthcare to citizens, providers, and policymakers
  • Nordic-Baltic research program on digitalization in the public sector
  • Digital innovation and smart government
  • A research project on the socioeconomic impacts of digitalization on rural areas 

What does the future have in store? 

Looking ahead, there are several challenges that the Baltic Sea Region needs to overcome in order to strengthen the operational capacity within the 5G sector:

  • The decision-makers in the Nordic-Baltic Region need to identify sustainable and effective models for working across borders.
  • We must come to an understanding of how to reach out and ensure commitment from the many partners across the public and private sector. 

These are only some of the questions we’ll be discussing in the 5G Techritory Forum, one of the major 5G events worldwide. If you want to have your say and become a part of the 5G future, join us – apply for a FREE invitation now!  

Read the full report here