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Today, President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Jüri Ratas participated in the Conference of Speakers of the European Union Parliaments via a video bridge and had bilateral video meetings with the Marshal of the Sejm of Poland and the Speaker of the National Assembly of Slovenia.

In his speech at the conference, Ratas focused on digitisation. He said that Estonia believed that e-solutions and digital communication were a key to solving of crises “Capacity in these fields are vital to keeping up the public sectors and societies,” Ratas emphasised.

“The pandemic has significantly increased the use of digital technologies and the parliaments should pay more attention to the rapid development of technologies when preparing future legislation,” Ratas said to his colleagues. “Digital policies need to be coordinated across Europe. With right policies, people benefit, but a failure can make some people feel left behind.”

Ratas noted that the European Commission had made digitalisation one of its main priorities until 2024. “Europe has the strength and will to shape the future for better living,” Ratas underlined. In his opinion, the priorities include promoting digitisation as well as addressing the risks.

The President of the Riigikogu said that European companies needed to benefit from the digital market, which also included protection from unfair competition, and safety for customers. In his opinion, giving the citizens greater control over data usage and social media platforms is necessary as well.

“If we want to remain global leaders, we as members of the European Union need to cooperate even more on these issues and make sure that our rules and regulations are aligned,” Ratas said. He added that Estonia was ready to exchange experience on practical digital solutions, like the green passport, digital education, remote-attendance sittings or digital health system.

The Speakers of the European Union Parliaments found that technological innovation was our common duty, and the European Union had to be available to its citizens even when the physical contacts are restricted. They underlined the need to keep the societies cohesive also in the digital world, and to see that the false narratives and fake news would not find good grounds for spreading.

At the bilateral meetings with Marshal of the Sejm of Poland Elżbieta Witek and Speaker of the National Assembly of Slovenia Igor Zorčič, the President of the Riigikogu emphasised the importance of parliamentary communication. Ratas invited his colleagues to attend the parliamentary forum of the speakers of the Three Seas Initiative (3SI), which would be held in Estonia in June.

Photos of the meeting (Erik Peinar, Riigikogu)

Riigikogu Press Service
Epp-Mare Kukemelk
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