The country where boldness is an asset in public policy making

Estonia, The country where boldness is an asset in public policy makingThe country where accessing to the internet is a social right is also a country where being proactive reigns supreme. The Estonian government has already surprised everyone on at least one occasion when it abolished the use of paper for its ministerial cabinet meetings.

Estonia's sustained march towards modernity continues to amaze. We last looked at Estonia at a time (mid-2009) when the country was completing it ambitious "Computer Security 2009" plan, embarked upon in 2006 to convert its citizens to the benefits of e-Services and multiply by 10 the number of regular users. This was achieved in February 2010 with a rate of more than 30% of users, a statistic confirmed by Eurostat 2009. This rate reaches 45% in June 2011. This plan is founded on strong public-private partnerships, along with the implementation of restrictions on online banking services to eliminate the use of simple passwords, the wider distribution of readers, the simplification of middleware, the usage of a mobile telephone-based digital identity as an alternative to complement use of the e-ID card, as well as more training, for the elderly in particular, and reinforced communications campaigns with numerous challenges being met (such as setting the world record for the most electronic signatures on a single document signed by 11,000 signees; or the record for the fastest creation of a genuine company over the internet in just 18 minutes).

The country, which was seriously affected by the crisis in 2008, recovered quickly in 2009 to return to growth of 2% in 2010 with 4% forecast for 2011. From 2001 to 2006, the country experienced an annual average growth in GDP of 8.7%.

In December 2010, Estonia became a full member of the OECD. In the same month, the country was listed by the UN as having been admitted to the exclusive club of countries with a "Very High" human development index (34th out of 169 countries – source In January 2011, Estonia adopted the euro.

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Some figures for 2011 on "Baltic tiger"

1,340,602 – The population of the country (2007) and 1,142,855 electronic ID cards
92.4% of tax payers made their declaration on line in 2010
98% of bank transactions made on line in 2010
95% of students have registered for the eKool system that connects parents, children and teachers
47% of the population has created its electronic health record in May 2011
25% of the population voted on line in the March 2011 elections
20% of ID card holders used their ID cards as an electronic transport pass every day