“This pioneering work will benefit those living and working in our region as well as contribute to the EU’s ambition for a digitally integrated Europe,” says Norway’s Minister for Nordic Co-operation, Frank Bakke-Jensen.
“The Nordic and Baltic countries are European leaders in digitalisation. Closer co-operation will provide better services for residents across national borders and create more new jobs. The objective is for the Nordic and Baltic regions to become a powerful, united digital region,” says Norway’s Minister for Local Government and Modernisation Jan Tore Sanner, who represented the Norwegian presidency together with Frank Bakke-Jensen.
Norway holds the presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2017. This is the first time the Nordic and Baltic ministers responsible for digitalisation have met for a ministerial meeting. In order to follow up on their declaration, the ministers have requested the involvement of the Nordic Council of Ministers in efforts to develop a plan for organising future work, such as through the use of existing arenas for co-operation.
Among other things, the countries are seeking to:
- facilitate the use of personal identity numbers and electronic identification to make it easier to use services across national borders,
- facilitate mobility and the development of expertise in ICT,
- promote the roll-out of 5G in towns and local regions to facilitate new, innovative services,
- market the region as innovative and suitable for testing new digital solutions,
- promote initiatives that can make the region a global leader in the development and adoption of new technologies, and
- strengthen the region’s voice within EU and EEA co-operation.
The declaration was adopted at the Digital North ministerial conference in Oslo.