Ministers press for more haste on Nordic electronic ID card

The project would introduce new technology for ID cards that makes them readable and accepted across all five Nordic countries.

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File picture of Nordic flags / Credit: iStock

Two Finnish ministers have called for the government to move faster with plans to introduce a new identification card that would work across all Nordic countries.

Although this project is in the governmental programme as part of its digitalization plans, the Swedish People’s Party’s Anna-Maja Henriksson and Thomas Blomqvist want to see more progress.

A 2017 Nordic Council recommendation urges the five Nordic national governments to introduce an ID card that would be unique to each country, but which would also be readable and accepted across the region.

Such a card would make it easier for residents of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland to get a mobile phone subscription or open a bank account for example.

“The Nordic vision is to be the most sustainable and integrated region in the world. To achieve this, our citizens must be able to live our lives as smoothly as possible, including across borders” says Henriksson (SFP), Finland’s Minister of Justice.

“Political will exists. That is why it is important that Finland, at the level of the authorities, is now working unreservedly to put the Nordic e-ID into practice” she adds.

Within the five-nation block, Norway and Denmark have done the most preparatory work to introduce a new type of card, and although Finnish-issued ID cards do have a chip in them, this is considered old technology, and a new solution would be needed.

“The challenges we face today are new and require new solutions. Reforms must adapt to a fast and digital world. We must not be left behind in this” says Blomqvist, the Minister for Nordic Cooperation.