August 8, 0930 at the e-Estonia Showroom
- Esteemed colleagues, I am pleased to welcome you to this e-Government Regional Seminar today. You have traveled long distances to learn from the Estonian e-government model, and I am certain that your time in Tallinn will be well spent.
- It is my pleasure to welcome you on behalf of the United States, one of your partners in the House Democracy Partnership program. To that end, I want to pass along the gratitude of HDP’s leadership, Congressman Peter Roskam and Congressman David Price, for your ongoing partnership and commitment to HDP. I also want to especially thank the Estonian government, specifically the Chairman of the Estonian Parliament, Eiki Nestor, who will be welcoming you at the parliament later this week.
- One of my first stops in Tallinn was here at the e-Estonia showroom. I learned, as you will learn today, how e-services have transformed the relationship between government and its citizens.
- The impact of e-governance for the average Estonian includes more efficient processes for government services, direct accessibility to government ministries by constituents, increased transparency and accountability, and decreased corruption. For the government, it means increased efficiency of service delivery to citizens and sharing across ministries.
- The United States recognizes Estonia’s ability to share its experience with countries such as Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Ukraine, and has partnered on e-government capacity-building initiatives with Estonia through programs such as the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Emerging Donor Challenge Fund. This seminar, supported by the International Republican Institute under the auspices of the U.S. Congress’ House Democracy Partnership program, with local implementation by the e-Governance Academy here in Tallinn, is an excellent example of that partnership.
- Through these initiatives, we seek to strengthen our bilateral relationships through direct dialogue, sharing of experiences and learning from best practices. We recognize that democratic development is an ongoing process, and that a healthy democracy is one that continues to evolve and strengthen its processes in order to be accountable, responsive and transparent to its citizens.
- I wish you a productive week in Tallinn, and encourage you to think creatively about developing e-governance solutions in your own countries upon your return.