At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) passed the Act on the Ratification of the Agreement between the Republic of Estonia and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on the Hosting of Data and Information Systems (563 SE), initiated by the Government.
On the basis of the ratified Agreement, the data and critical databases relevant for ensuring the continuity of the Estonian state can be hosted in Luxembourg’s national data centre. It will increase the security of the Estonian digital society and the quality of the hosting of data.
The explanatory memorandum notes that Luxembourg has been chosen as a partner in the hosting of data and information systems because it has state-owned high security data centres that have been certified at Tier 4 level. There are no such data centres in Estonia. Luxembourg is also ready to ensure the immunity of the Estonian data and information systems. Luxembourg is a digitally advanced society with whom it is possible to effectively cooperate in the field of digital services. Besides that, Luxembourg has very good data communication connections.
“The data embassy” is a national cloud solution through which it is possible to host data and services and, if necessary, to operate them from a secure data centre outside the territorial borders of the state. This will enable to ensure the functioning of the Estonian state also when the functioning of the data centres located on the territory of the country has stopped or is disturbed.
The concept as a whole is novel, and, as far as is known, no such national system for hosting data have been taken into use yet. As the “data embassy” is not a diplomatic mission on which the same privileges and immunity are applied as on embassies, it was necessary to enter into an agreement. The Agreement determines the obligations and rights of both countries that are necessary to protect the integrity of the critical data and information systems of the Estonia.
It is an innovative solution in international relations, and the concluding of this agreement also constitutes a precedent in international law.
The Agreement was signed by Prime Minister of Estonia Jüri Ratas and Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel in Luxembourg on 20 June last year. The document had to be ratified by the parliaments of both countries. Now it has been ratified both by the Parliament of Luxembourg and the Riigikogu.
78 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the passing of the Act.