Vice Minister-President Bart Somers to become e-Resident

This week, Vice Minister-President of the government of Flanders Bart Somers, has become an e-Resident of the Estonian digital nation. Now Minister Somers is able to sign documents online with a digital signature that is formally backed by the Estonian police and border control. 

Minister Somers arrived in Tallinn on Sunday April 23 together with a delegation of 40 entrepreneurs and government officials, organized by VOKA Antwerpen-Waasland. As an early riser, before the delegation started their visit to the briefing centre of the most digital nation of the world, Minister Somers collected his e-Residency card at the Tallinn police station. “This is a token of our mutual intention to cooperate on a pan-European scale,“ says Bart Somers.   

The e-Residency program is a great initiative of the Estonian government to create a borderless digital community. It allows entrepreneurs all over the world to start and manage a company remotely, and sign all the documents using a reader and their e-Residency card. Contrary to what some people might think, the e-Residency has no real residency or tax residency implications. The e-Residency card only represents the digital signature of the holder. But, since that digital signature is the result of a strict procedure by the police and border control of Estonia, it bears a very high trust factor. 

The real power of e-Residency becomes visible when combining the card with an Estonian limited company. An Estonian limited company can be created, and managed entirely online, using the card to formally sign all documents, applications, bylaws, and proceedings online. And of course, also to declare the taxes and access the bank application. 

“The Estonians have created a very easy and trustworthy environment for entrepreneurs to do business”, adds Somers. “I am impressed with what they have accomplished over the past 30 years. Estonia has developed from a former Soviet country to a thriving and flourishing modern digital nation. I do hope we can keep on exchanging information and lessons learned, for both countries to be frontrunners in creating a future-looking European community.”