75 PIVOTAL PUBLIC POLICIES: ESTONIA’S E-RESIDENCY

e-Estonia was created by the Estonian government in 1991 as a movement to facilitate citizen interactions with the state through the use of electronic solutions. At the time, only half of the population possessed a phone line. Nine years later, Estonia declared internet access to be a human right, investing in providing it to the whole nation.

 


Since then, the nation has led the world in using i-Voting, digital ID cards, e-governance and e-health policies to increase citizen engagement in everyday governance. Arguably its most innovative move came in 2014, when it started to offer “e-Residency”. This allows non-residendts to register online for a smart digital ID card that allows them to access a broad range of Estonian government services, from banking to forming a company. Though this has yet to be taken up elsewhere, it is showing policymakers everywhere what the digital future of government could be.

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