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Digital Policy Round Table: The Future of Cross-Border e-Services in the Baltic Sea Region

On 10 Dec 2019, DIGINNO organized a policy seminar in Helsinki to discuss the challenges related to well functioning digital cross-border services for business. Thematic focus was on how these services can be provided to improve interoperability. A key aim was to present and discuss policy proposals developed in DIGINNO WP3 show case work with eG2B solutions.

The seminar was opened by Finland’s Ministry of Finance, followed by presentations from the project and inspirational inputs/comments from the European Commission, business and national policymakers.

Among statements were:

  • Business needs concrete business cases based on real problems that demonstrate (economic) benefits for cross-border interaction.

  • DIGINNO could inspire “business-centered digital public services” to be developed in the Digital Europe Programme and a process should be designed for informal interaction.

  • National protectionistic agendas are still prevailing and cross-border service interoperability is not necessarily a priority at national level.

  • Apart from standards, regulations, semantics also a bottom-up approach is needed to engage business.

  • Even though regulations and routines can be translated to the same language there are still legal, traditional and cultural differences.

  • Mutual recognition is a challenge: “Not invented here? I don’t trust it!”

  • Openness and user-centric approaches are needed.

  • DIGINNO should build on other EU projects and strengthen what is already ongoing.

  • Solve the eid problem first! What is the cross-border value if there are only national services?

  • DIGINNO is a good example of “start small”.

  • All that matters for cross-border services is implementation-implementation-implementation!

  • Political commitment (and personal engagement) is needed to provide the right tools for implementation.

  • We can pick the technologies we want but the key to change (management) lies with the national government agencies.

  • DIGINNO has many good connections (to business and policy) but we should use them more efficiently.

The output of the seminar will be used in WP4 to further qualify and concretize policy proposals for the Policy White Paper and follow-up discussions with policymakers at national, BSR and EU levels.

The seminar was hosted by DIMECC and organized by Aalborg University Cph (WP4 Lead), DIMECC, Finland’s Ministry of Finance and INFOBALT Lithuania (WP3 Lead).

Further information:

Torben Aaberg,

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