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  • Writer's pictureTaavi Salm

Estonia, the digital example.

More and more Estonia is being recognized for its efforts in the digital field.

The medical system has been lately praised in a La Tribune: Il faut pouvoir compter sur le digital because Estonia digitized its healthcare system years ago and most related activities can be done remotely via the internet (doctor appointments, ordering medicament, renewing prescriptions...). It also states that France is behind in this area and should move towards the Estonian level.

In another La Tribune: "L'identité numérique va devenir indispensable au quotidien" (Christine Hennion) article the MP Christine Hennion discusses the importance of moving towards a digital identity solution. One of the examples is Estonia who already has had a digital id system for over a decade. She states that "the new bio metric identity card in 2021 must be combined with the deployment of a digital identity solution".

Les Echos: E-résident : inspirons-nous de l'Estonie article praises the Estonian e-residency program and the level of digitization of the country. France should follow the same path but it will be more complicated as it is a much bigger country.

The Belgian newspaper l´Echo: Bientôt jugés par un robot? La Justice pourrait utiliser l'intelligence artificielle brings out an interesting side of the digitization. An Estonian engineer is testing out an AI to help out judges for cases with minor offences not exceeding 7,000 euros in damages. Unfortunately in Belgium not enough data has been digitized for them to be able to use an AI.

Another Belgian newspaper Le Élections: le ministère de l’Intérieur étudie le vote par internet talks about the possibility of e-elections in Belgium and highlights as Estonia as success story.

Ouest-France: Coronavirus. En Estonie, un chatbot pour combattre les fausses nouvelles sur le virus praises Estonian digital efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. An online hackathon on 13-15 March with over a 1000 participants was held and resulted in a chatbot that relieves the workload for call centers calling during the virus crisis. Currently the chatbot can answer up to 200 questions, they hope to soon increase this number to a 1000.

The French speaking press sees the strong level Estonian digitization as a strong example to follow. The reason brought up to explain why these countries are not at the same level is that they are too big and it might not be possible to change at that scale.

We are working on making the french speaking side to understand that those IT solutions are scalable. These solutions should be tested on regional levels first to mitigate the fear of failure on a national scope. These regional solutions would be a great entry point for Estonian companies into the French market.

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