Estonia's vision for e-Residency 2.0 released 🇪🇪

(Thomas K. Running) #1

Estonia today published a white paper outlining the future of the e-Residency, including 49 specific proposals for the future of the program (see below).

One interesting fact from the white paper: so far, the e-Residency program has cost the Estonian government €7.4 million. In the same time period, they received €17.8 million in state fees and direct tax revenue from e-residents.


Chapter 1: Who Are Estonia’s Future E-Residents?

  1. In cooperation with the state and private sector, creating a detailed database on e-residents’ economic activities

  2. Engaging more with Estonian universities and think tanks to contribute to discourse on e-Residency topics, calling on the research community to study the impact of e-Residency, developing future scenarios and engaging in cooperation

  3. Setting a goal of growing the number of influential e-residents and keeping the percentage of e-residents engaged in harmful practices at 0.1% of the total number

  4. Implementing an automatic biometric system

  5. Developing a basic document that educates e-residents about Estonian values and the legal environment

  6. Ensuring that the application process for becoming an e-resident is based on available information and risks related to specific individuals

  7. Analyzing possibilities for making changes to the systems such as the Population Register that would allow the state and the e-resident themselves to terminate their e-resident status

  8. Creating for e-residents the possibility of updating their data in the Population Register, such as a change of address

  9. Establishing a legal basis for processing e-residents’ data (from Police and Border Guard, tax and customs Board, centre of Registers and information systems and statistics Estonia), so that the programme could carry out in-depth analysis, which will help to maintain the programme’s focus better and more clearly

  10. Looking for ways of bringing more female entrepreneurs on board, in order to diversify the e-Residency community

Chapter 2: Business Environment

  1. Translating into English all legislation, emails, service descriptions, website and other important texts needed by e-residents in their business

  2. Creating an e-Residency Marketplace on the programme’s website to support export by Estonian companies

  3. Creating an “ask a local” service for supporting business contacts with Estonian citizens, residents and nonresidents

  4. Setting doubled revenue every year as a new performance target

  5. Based on economic goals, results of risk analysis and proposed risk management measures, opening outlets where external service providers would be able to issue e-Residency digital ids, in addition the current network provided by Estonia’s foreign representations. the first three would be strategically located in cities with growing business volumes: São Paulo, Bangkok and Johannesburg

  6. Developing a franchising model to engage partners for establishing e-residents’ centres

  7. Creating for e-residents a company bank account wizard that would point e-residents in the direction of the most suitable credit or payment institution

  8. Continuing work to increase the number of banking and payment service providers that serve e-residents

  9. Continuing efforts to make the Estonian business environment more attractive to trustworthy payment service providers

  10. Developing an international standard for transmission of tax information between countries in machine-readable form

  11. Developing a simple guide that explains the entrepreneurial environment, taxation and reporting to e-residents engaged in cross-border enterprise

  12. Creating an international Ease of doing digital Business index

  13. Encouraging new fields for enterprise (nature conservation, tourism, culture and media, sport and leisure time and government initiatives such as the Maritime administration’s electronic ship registry) in the e-Residency communication portfolio

Chapter 3: Legal Environment

  1. Introducing the nature of e-Residency to international legal experts, such as the fact that Estonian e-Residency is not a contributor to tax avoidance or evasion

  2. Creating an effective means of providing state services remotely (e.g. e-notary)

  3. Initiating bilateral agreements with the principal countries of origin of e-residents for exchange of data needed for early warning systems (prohibitions on enterprise, for obtaining data from the criminal records database and other databases)

  4. Ensuring that supervisory institutions have sufficient human and technological resources for conducting risk-based ex ante and ex post checks on e-residents

  5. Analysing the possibility of collecting social tax from digital nomads to fund provision of health insurance and pension fund

  6. Improving background checks of prospective e-residents before they become e-residents, obtaining information and asking e-residents to declare data on their past activities.

  7. Shoring up due diligence business service providers applying for an activity licence. Analysing how service providers could share information related to the activity of e-residents’ companies with the state

  8. Engaging in cooperation with anti-money laundering organizations to ensure that Estonia places high in rankings of countries with the lowest money laundering risk

  9. More precisely defining the roles and responsibilities of the Police and Border Guard, tax and customs Board and other law enforcement and oversight bodies in conducting background checks on e-residents

Chapter 4: Technology

  1. Alternative means of authentication and digital signing for e-residents, including a mobile solution or use of the home country digital identity with the highest eIDAS qualification

  2. Analysing the possibility for e-residents to be able to associate different digital identities and manage their data on a single administration platform

  3. To improve user experience, analysing further development of the e-resident web environment into a portal that would consolidate the necessary services and exchange of information with the Ministry of the interior, the centre of Registers and information systems, tax and customs Board, the Ministry of Foreign affairs and other institutions

  4. To create new private sector services, analysing ways for e-residents to be better able to access their own data through the X-road data exchange layer

  5. Continuing roundtables at the state level with officials and technologists: these would, among other things, serve a venue for further analysis of AI e-Residency, blockchain-based digital identity and a community-based Estcoin token

  6. Inviting leading international thinkers, both boosters and skeptics, to Estonia to discuss topics of the future of digital society. For example, it will be key to continue discussions on the impact of internet voting and other important technologies

Chapter 5: Culture and Society

  1. Engaging in cooperation with the tourist Board, Ministry of culture, embassies and event organizers to offer the e-resident community more information about Estonian cultural collections and important events

  2. Every e-resident is potentially a friend and supporter of Estonia. We recommend creating a community leaders programme that supports more active friends of Estonia with slides, printed matter and other material necessary for presentations.

  3. Ensuring that the “ask a local” function could also be used for exporting cultural events

  4. Discussing with the e-resident community how to better take initiatives like Let’s do it World cleanup day global

  5. Encouraging e-residents to visit different regions in Estonia, by putting together work and holiday packages

  6. Organizing an annual e-Residency week with events in Tallinn and Estonian embassies around the world

  7. Creating new ways for cultural contacts, by holding hackathons aimed at developing e-Residency apps in the fields of society, culture, media and education

  8. Giving e-residents curated access to seminal artefacts of Estonian culture – digital books, music, performance and films (like the documentary singing Revolution)

  9. Working with Estonian Public Broadcasting for producing regular English-language news summaries about Estonia for e-residents

  10. Starting a series of documentary style podcasts for e-residents

  11. Coordinating e-Residency activities with the Estonian culture 2030 strategy and action plan to be drafted in the Ministry of culture in 2019