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• International Association “e-Signature Without Borders” registered in Estonia takes part in the project financed by the Programme EstLatRus.

Because of this history, recently we lived in USSR – the state that doesn’t exist any more. However, the breakdown of the Soviet Union does not and cannot abolish the connections which were made and the necessity in their preservation. It’s important especially for citizens of cross-border areas who have to deal with questions on work and salary records, property and burials.

Today the development of information technologies is of great significance. And these technologies are meant to make ordinary people’s life easier. For example, to make public services more available, first of all via a “single window” service. In other words, a person who wants to get any service provided by the state has just to express a desire and the rest (verification of person’s rights to get this service) should be made by the state officials, electronic interaction with other departments and state agencies. Such a “single window” service is really working but within the bounds of one country.

Unfortunately, today there are no technologies providing work a cross-border “single window” service. For example, a citizen of the Russian Federation who addresses the Pension Fund to get a service on his/her work and salary record and has a part of employment history abroad, is asked to get all necessary papers in archives of foreign states on his/her own. As a result, an applicant faces administrative and language barriers. Citizens of Estonia and other former Soviet Union countries have the same problems.

Services, provided by officials to citizens regarding information or documents, are not in compliance to modern information society. The discrepancy between the current needs of the population and the lack of administrative capacity of local authorities leads to time, material and moral losses.

The project “Increasing capacity of local authorities in providing e-services in Ida-Virumaa-Leningrad oblast cross-border area" (e-G2C)» is designed to change the current situation. The project aims at the creation and implementation of socially significant electronic services in municipal archives, operating in the border towns of the North-East of Estonia and the Leningrad region of Russia.

Kick-off meeting of the international cross-border cooperation project "Strengthening the capacity of local authorities to provide electronic services in the border region of Ida-Viru County and Leningrad (e-G2C)» took place in Tallinn July 1, 2013.

The e-G2C project has 7 partners from Estonia and Russia, including the International Association “e-Signature Without Borders” (e-SWB). The Lead partner is e-Governance Academy Foundation (EE). From Estonia also involved in the project, are: Narva BAS Foundation, Narva City Government. From Russia - e-Government Centre of St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, Municipalities of “Kingisepp region” and "Slantsy region”. Associate Partners are Rezekne Higher Education Institute (LV), “e-Development Partnership in the North-West of Russia” (RU), Certification Center AS (EE), Committee for Telecommunication and Informatization of the Leningrad region government (RU).

The project has three main objectives:

• Develop e-solutions empowering the archives of border municipalities to provide e-services;

• Create and implement socially relevant e-services in the territories of the partner municipalities;

• Disseminate information on the availability of new e-services in Estonia, Russia and Latvia.

The International Association "e-Signature Without Borders" was established in 2008 by legal entities from Russia and Europe. Its main purpose is to expand opportunities in cross-border electronic interaction between state, business and citizens. Therefore, any citizen or official from one country will be able to get public services in a foreign country using his national electronic identification facilities (based on electronic signatures).

As a Project Partner the Association e-SWB will establish organisational, legislative and technical framework enabling cross-use of digitally signed documents.

The minimum task is to provide an opportunity for any citizen of Estonia or Russia who has an electronic signature to apply for public services directly to archives of neighboring country. The maximum task is to create necessary organizational and technical conditions to expand options of domestic “single window” systems in order to provide an opportunity for officials to address directly to officials of neighboring state and to get services distantly without personal attendance.

We are glad to share our knowledge, experience and developments to achieve the common aim of the Project and to improve cross-border electronic interaction that, in its turn, will improve quality of everyday life of citizens in cross-border areas of Estonia and Russia. We also hope that participating in the Project we will get new experience, useful knowledge, establish long-term business relationships with other partners of the Project and will expand the sphere of electronic interaction.

The e-G2C project is co-funded by "EstLatRus CBC programme within ENPI 2007-2013". Project budget is 199,337 € of which the Grant makes 179 403,30 € and self-financing by partners -19 933,70. The project duration is 18 months. Please visit: http://www.ega.ee/projects/ELRII-470 for more information.

„Estonia-Latvia-Russia cross-border Cooperation Programme within European Neighbourhood and Partnership instrument 2007-2013 financially supports joint cross border development activities for the improvement of the region´s competitiveness by utilising its potential and beneficial loccation on the crossroads between the EU and Russian Federation. The Programme web-site is www.estlatrus.eu“.