Pope Francis becomes an e-resident of Estonia


Pope Francis, the sovereign of the Vatican City and leader of the Roman Catholic Church, has become an e-resident of Estonia during his tour of the Baltic states. Kersti Kaljulaid, Estonia’s President, presented The Pope with this own digital ID card in Tallinn on Monday, where he became the “37,647th e-resident”.

Pope Francis is not the first world leader to become an Estonian e-resident. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor and Shinz┼Ź Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister have both become e-residents. These notable names join thousands of other e-residents from some 157 countries.

E-residency is considered a “trans-national government-issued digital identity” by the Estonian government. Furthermore, they added that Estonia "began offering e-residency in 2014 to provide people around the world with a secure digital identity and online access to Estonia's public and private services."

The e-residency programme allows users to create and open a business in the EU while running it remotely while being able to declare taxes and sign documents digitally. It does not, however, provide citizenship, physically residency, tax residency or the right to travel to Estonia or the EU.

Estonia, or as its dubbed e-Estonia, is a Eurozone country renowned for its interconnectedness online and often seen as a pioneer in the creation of a digital society. They introduced internet voting in 2005 and currently host NATO’s cyber defence centre


- Nicholas Clark Bryan

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