As Estonia became the first European country to introduce e-democracy, namely a digital version of the “traditional democracy”, it has become a model for the rest to follow. Indeed, it has added a new dimension to our concept not only of democracy, but also of participation and nation states. Named by specialist tech magazine “Wired” “the most advanced digital society in the world”, this small Baltic state started building its information society almost two decades ago ,when there was no digital data being collected about citizens, and most of them didn’t have internet, or even the devices to access it.
Imagine skipping the hassle of going waiting in lines for hours at the government offices just to get a small task done, as 99% of the public services in Estonia are available online to citizens as e-services. You can file your taxes online, get bureaucratic tasks done online, access your health records, even vote, from the comfort of your living room. It has even created a data embassy in Luxembourg to secure state owned server resources outside its territorial borders.
One of its unique feature is that of e-residency that allows foreign nationals to apply for digital residency in Estonia, and offers a government issued digital identity available to anyone in the world, that offers digital services, and the freedom to start and manage a business in an EU environment.
As Parag Khanna said in his book “Connectivity”, “we’re accelerating into a future shaped less by countries than connectivity.” The significance of technological developments and internet in our era is apparent in the way it asserts itself onto our everyday life, but it’s also changing the way we traditionally perceived nation states, their boundaries and their identities. These create a platform for connectivity in the world that poses a question to the treaty of Westphalia and its concept of nation states.
Is it only by transforming them into border-transcending e-democracies, that we’ll ensure their survival in the future? Can that even be considered as a survival? Would those still be considered nation states? That remains debatable, but what is certain is that e-democracy looks like the most likely gateway to a more efficient and connected future.
“You can either spend your time building borders or crossing them, and I chose the latter.”
Ciao! My name is Tanya and I am 19. Born in a country as diverse as India, I was introduced to multiculturalism at a very young age. However, it was not until I was selected to be an exchange student in France that my life changed completely. I realized that I do not want to be confined to a particular nationality but I want be a part of a more global picture which is why I chose Global Governance. I like exploring art history, languages, and breaking stereotypes.