The technical side has been tested and works. Public services are starting to sign up. Sweden, Norway and Latvia have lead the way, opening up their digital services to users with an Estonian eID. Norway was first to launch an actual service – allowing Estonian students to log into Studentweb and apply for places at Norwegian colleges and universities.
The target is for citizens of the eight countries to be able use their national e-ID for almost all public services in all of the Nordic and Baltic countries within the next couple of years. The work has progressed at an impressive pace, as befits a digital project. The Nordic Council of Ministers was asked to coordinate work on digitalisation in the eight countries in 2018 and the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation expressed a clear expectation of progress and success.
The technical side is not complicated. Much of it is ready. The real work lies in getting all of the official bodies in the various countries to join in and open up their services. Our job is to turn the political vision into a reality. We are completely dependent on political will and action.
The Nordic-Baltic work on e-ID, NOBID, is being coordinated by the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment in Norway (Difi). The main objective is to link up the eID systems of the eight different countries so that, for example, Estonians can access Swedish services with their national e-ID.
The three-step process involves making the technical infrastructures of the eight countries compatible with each other, agreeing which national e-IDs to allow in other countries and then making actual services available. The process may entail adaptations to systems at national level.
The type of services covered will include company registration, exchanging depositions, the tax authorities and health services. Project Manager at Difi, Tor Alvik, is pleased with progress but stresses that the real work starts now.
“The technical side is not complicated. Much of it is ready. The real work lies in getting all of the official bodies in the various countries to join in and open up their services. Our job is to turn the political vision into a reality. We are completely dependent on political will and action,” he says.
NOBID would like all public services to be accessible by the end of 2020 but responsibility for this lies with the national governments.