Digital transformation Press release
Juris Pūce

Riga, 15 October 2020 - Environment and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce (AP!) The European Union's (EU) telecom ministers will present the EU countries with the experience of Latvia in a high-level videoconference on how to successfully implement and improve digital solutions in the public administration and ensure wide access to digital services.

The achievements of the Baltic States in improving digital transformation have been mentioned repeatedly as a successful example in the EU. In this high-level video conference, the Ministers of the Baltic States will provide a joint message on the progress made towards digital transformation, referring to the call made by the German Minister for Economic Affairs, Peter Altmaier, during the informal Council of Ministers of Transport, Telecommunications and Energy of 5 June 2020 and addressing the EU's telecom ministers on the vision of the issue “As governments, economies and societies benefit from perfect digital practice? ".

Juris Pūce (AP!): “Latvia develops the digital space as a single ecosystem, which is comparable to our physical space and develops on the same basis, taking into account the needs of citizens and entrepreneurs. We are truly pleased and proud that the Baltic States are among the top five countries in the deployment and use of public administration services among EU countries. The invitation of the German Minister for Economic Affairs is proof that we are digital I. Other EU countries assess the high-speed Internet and mobile Internet available to Latvian citizens, which ranks us in the EU and in the leaders of the OECD countries in the use of mobile services, have a convenient and state-provided digital identity, and the Baltic States implement successful cross-border cooperation to create a single digital environment in the region, for example by providing an opportunity to receive the e-services of a neighbouring country. conducting cross-border drone flight tests as well as digitally signing ministerial-level agreements. Latvia has first supported both the European Data Strategy and a harmonised approach to the development of the EU data area framework, as well as promoting the regulation and wider use of artificial intelligence (MI). "

Cross-border access to services at EU level is one of the main challenges underpinned by a high-quality cross-border data exchange mechanism. Our call for the further development of Europe's digital environment and the functioning of the single digital market is to ensure that citizens and entrepreneurs have a digital identity that is comprehensively accepted in the national and commercial sector across the EU, to take care of multilingualism support for the digital space to ensure its accessibility in their mother tongue, and to strengthen the EU's common capabilities by moving to a regional and EU level cooperation in the sharing of data and infrastructure.

In the Council of Ministers, telecommunications ministers will discuss priority measures to implement European data standards outside the borders of the single market, as well as discuss what fundamental principles should be observed when developing a European MI framework that promotes excellence and confidence building.

In the field of digital transformation, data quality is important in Latvia, both in order to develop MI technology and in the fight against disinformation. In view of the important role of the data economy, Latvia considers that it is essential to assess the security considerations of data protection and use, taking into account a proportionate balance between the interests of business operators and ensuring the necessary level of security.

Latvia is open to further discussions on the European legal framework for MI, which respects fundamental rights and privacy.  As one of the solutions, Latvia offers a political combination between regulation and guidelines to promote innovation development and strict legislation, as well as to ensure the protection of individual privacy.

During the covid-19 pandemic, the potential for digital solutions for overall benefit and population support has become more apparent: in times of crisis, public administrations have shown the ability to quickly refocus and provide work remotely through e-solutions, while citizens are increasingly evaluating the benefits of digital services. 

The progress of digital transformation in Latvia has been successfully assessed* in the European Commission's annual e-government study (eGovernment Benchmark), which evaluates the progress of European Union Member States in the development of e-government: Latvia is strongly maintaining positions in fourth place as the country with the highest maturity level in e-government.

* Latvia convincingly retains positions as the fourth country with the highest maturity level in e-government

Information prepared by:
Public Relations Department
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development
Tel. 20200305; 67026533,