Finland to create a data exchange layer on the example of the Estonian X-Road

The Government of Finland has decided to create a data exchange layer of e-services and cooperate with Estonia in the course thereof as much as possible.

“We will immediately and cost-effectively create a national data exchange layer of electronic services and an electronic identification system, implementing cooperation opportunities with Estonia insofar as possible,” sets out a policy document of the Government of Finland concerning the assurance of economic growth conditions and sustainability that was approved two weeks ago.

Riku Jylhänkangas, Director of the Strategic Governance of the Finnish Public Sector ICT, confirmed in the European State Portals Seminar held in Tallinn yesterday that Finland is planning to actively examine the Estonian X-Road solution. “We are planning to thoroughly study the Estonian X-Road. This is not just about the source code but also understanding the organisation and agreements that create the frameworks for this technology. We are also hoping to test cross-border services. In the future, a solution similar to the X-Road will benefit Finnish citizens and enterprises as it definitely allows offering public services faster and at less cost,” Jylhänkangas explained.

“We are very glad to share our experience with the Finns. We are hoping to reach the milestone of the first functioning cross-border e-services that would serve as an example for the whole of Europe. For example digital signatures or electronic tax operations that are valid in a cross-border framework would save a lot of time and money for everyone,” said Jaan Priisalu, Director General of the Estonian Information System’s Authority.

As the first pilot service, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board has commenced cooperation with the Finnish Tax Administration to bring the cross-border data exchange to the X-Road channel. The first tests have been conducted.

The Finnish Information Society Strategy was adopted in 2012 and the development of the information society is the priority of all ministries. The ICT cooperation opportunities of Estonia and Finland have been under discussion since spring 2013. Finland is planning to create a working group by November that would further promote the development of the data exchange layer and cooperation with Estonia. There are also plans to affirm the Estonian-Finnish ICT cooperation with an official agreement.

The X-Road data exchange layer is a technical and organisational environment that allows organising secure web-based data exchange between the information systems of the state. The X-Road allows people, institutions and enterprises to securely exchange data and organise the access of people to the data preserved and processed in state databases.

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