Prime Minister Kallas at the Tallinn Digital Summit: we need to build partnerships, not dependencies

This year’s Tallinn Digital Summit helps coordinate global efforts to build the digital and physical infrastructure that impacts the well-being and security of everyone. As the confrontation between democracies and autocracies is gathering steam, the Tallinn Digital Summit offers a platform for like-minded partners to reduce dependencies on autocratic states through trusted connectivity and trusted partnerships.

“We have received a reality check. We have had to face Russia’s war against Ukraine and the COVID-19 lockdowns. An increasing rivalry with authoritarian countries. Physical and cyber attacks against vital infrastructure,” Prime Minister Kallas said in her opening speech. “We became overreliant for our essential needs on countries who do not share our values. But the era of such dependencies has come to a close. Now we have entered a new era of globalization that prioritizes economic security over economic efficiency.”

Mrs. Kallas emphasized that there is a need to reconsider existing political and economic alliances and make sure our future is defined by trusted connectivity and trusted partnerships. This, she said, is underscored by the immense global demand for infrastructure.

“The proposition of trusted connectivity is straightforward: to connect like-minded countries through trusted partnerships—based on shared interests and values and the highest standards—thus reinforcing trust in global political and economic relations across the free world. We need to build partnerships, not dependencies,” Prime Minister Kallas said.

“Global Gateway will mobilise the public and private investment that is needed on the ground. Investments in projects abroad that connect us”, President von der Leyen recalled in her keynote address. “We need to protect our critical infrastructure,” the President emphasised. “We need to keep replacing unsustainable dependency with more balanced cooperation. And we need to continue to build trust in global connectivity.”

Over two days of the Tallinn Digital Summit will explore the role of trusted connectivity and trusted partnerships across topics such as global stability, energy, economic, and cyber security, digital policy, international standards, artificial intelligence, clouds and satellites, digital public goods, and investments, as well as their role in the reconstruction of a free and democratic Ukraine.

During the first day of the Summit, key speakers also included Rwandan Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente, co-founder of the Special Competitive Studies Project and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and Finnish Economic Affairs Minister Mika Lintilä. The summit is attended by ministers from 15 countries and guests from more than 30 countries.

Please see the speech by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas here and the speech by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen here.

The joint op-ed by Estonian Prime Minister and President of the European Commission on trusted connectivity and Global Gateway can be found here.

Photos can be found here.