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The Finnish National Data Exchange Layer and the Estonian X-tee shall be merged

30.9.2016 11.54 | Published in English on 30.9.2016 at 12.20
Press release

The Finnish Population Register Centre and the Estonian Information System Authority (Riigi Infosüsteemi Amet, RIA) have agreed today on merging their national data exchange layers, i.e. creating a confidential relationship between the Finnish and Estonian data exchange.

The agreement enables technical transmission of information from a service merged to the Finnish Data Exchange Layer to the Estonian X-tee, and vice versa. Both the Finnish and Estonian services are utilising the X-Road solution developed in Estonia.

The National Data Exchange Layer constructed as part of the implementation programme of the national architecture for digital services is a data exchange layer in which information can be transferred in a secure and standardised way between the data repositories and services of different service providers. It was taken into production use in November 2015. X-tee is the corresponding service in Estonia. Both of the services are based on the X-Road solution developed in Estonia and are utilising X-Road as the technical platform. X-Road is a secure integration solution for information exchange over the Internet. Finland and Estonia have developed X-Road in cooperation since 2014.

Along with this agreement the parties exchanging information shall always mutually agree on their information exchange. X-Road takes automatically care, for example, of the encryption of messages and their time stamping, which allows the verification of the moment when the information was transferred. The functionalities are in practice the same as in the National Data Exchange Layer inside Finland, but the federation allows the information to be transferred to Estonia as well.

“It is exceptional that two countries are developing a joint information system together. Joint development has taken place since the beginning of the national architecture for digital services programme. The merge of the Finnish and Estonian data exchange layer services is a natural continuum of the successful cooperation in the development work between the countries. The joint development model is becoming more and more intensified”, says Janne Viskari, the Director of the National Architecture for Digital Services unit at the Finnish Population Register Centre.

“Given the fact that both people and economy are tightly bound between Finland and Estonia, it is essential to align public services for cross-border cooperation – to provide better services for citizens and enterprises. Building trust federation between Finnish Data Exchange Layer and Estonian X-tee is the most straightforward way for solving that puzzle”, emphasizes Heiko Vainsalu, the Area Manager responsible for X-Road in RIA.

In the agreement the Finnish and Estonian data exchange layers shall be merged and the schedule is agreed in more detail.  The merging shall commence in October 2016. The target is to have the services merged to be in production use no later than 31 March 2017.

The merging of the data exchange layers enables automatic exchange of population register data between Finland and Estonia. One of the first tasks shall be to investigate the exchange of population register data between Finland and Estonia. Migration between the countries is quite lively, and currently there are approximately 60 000 Estonians living in Finland. Along with automatic information exchange, for example, the municipality of residence of Estonians living in Finland is automatically correctly recorded, which is of importance for the purposes of municipal services and social benefits. Other organisations in the public sector could also benefit from this merge.

When transferring data to the public internet, organisations in the Finnish public sector have a legal obligation to use the National Data Exchange Layer.

The first version of X-Road was launched in Estonia in 2001.

Further information:

Director Janne Viskari, etunimi.sukunimi@vrk.fi, +358 295 535 022.