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President Kaljulaid in Norway: The Baltic States and Nordic countries should form a single digital region

President Kaljulaid in Norway: The Baltic States and Nordic countries should form a single digital region
President Kaljulaid and the Prime Minister of Norway.
© Office of the President of Estonia

20.11.2020

On a working visit to Norway today, President Kersti Kaljulaid met with Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg to discuss cooperation between Estonia and Norway on issues related to security, climate change and the digital revolution, remarking that the Baltic Sea region and Scandinavia should form a single digital region.

“The global battle against coronavirus has shown every country how important a role technological development plays in crises of this scale,” the head of state said after her meeting with Prime Minister Solberg. “Estonia and Norway are two of the most advanced digital nations and pioneers, but our ambition should be even greater – to transform the Nordic countries and Baltic States into a single digital region operating on the same lines. That will require secure and to all intents and purposes invisible movement of data across borders, as well as services, while a permissive legal space will enable technology to be fully implemented. If there’s anywhere in the world where this is currently possible, then it’s right here – and it would give the region as a whole a huge economic advantage.”

The head of state also discussed bilateral cooperation in the field of security and in international organisations such as NATO and the UN with the Norwegian prime minister. “Starting in January, Norway will also be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and it will be the first time in history that both a Baltic and Nordic country are on the council together,” President Kaljulaid explained. “We’re already working with Norway to ensure that we both champion the prevention and resolution of conflicts and respect for international law while we’re serving together on the council.”

President Kaljulaid and Prime Minister Solberg also talked about climate change issues and Estonia’s desire to contribute to the work of the Arctic Council, of which the country submitted an application to become an observer state on 9 November. Other matters discussed during the meeting pertained to cybersecurity, international relations and energy policy.

During her one-day visit to Norway, President Kaljulaid not only met with Prime Minister Solberg but also Crown Prince Haakon, Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, Speaker of the Parliament Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen and Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence Anniken Huitfeldt. She also took part in a digital-themed discussion at Oslo Metropolitan University and a polar- and environmentally themed discussion at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute.

President Kaljulaid will be returning to Estonia this evening.

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