Monday, 20 November, 2017

Digital marriages proposed in Finland

09 Nov 2017, 01:35 ( 11 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
A marriage administration programme. Photo Visit Finland.

 People in Finland could in the future get married on the internet, without having to go to meet a civil servant at a Magistrates Office. The vista came on Wednesday from the Finnish Innovation Fund, SITRA.

The digitization of "tying the knot" was part of a report about the future of magistrates offices, made by former member of parliament Jouni Backman.

There are currently nine magistrates in Finland, giving employment to 600 people. Backman concluded that the advancement of digitization has reduced the importance of the physical existence of the magistrates offices.

In Finland, the law requires that people notify their addresses, but these days citizens give the information via the internet.

"Need for magistrates offices would be further reduced, if people could get married on the internet as well," Backman concluded. He suggested that magistrates would merge with the Finnish Population Registry in 2020.

Besides magistrate staffers, also priests of religious organizations continue to have the right to confirm marriages. Backman did not take a stand on the future use of the internet in marriages administered by religious organizations.

On receiving the report from Backman, Minister for Municipal Affairs and Reforms Anu Vehvilainen promised "rapid decisions" about the future. Also the Finnish Population Registry welcomed the plan and said it would improve customer service and the development of digital service.

There was no immediate comment from religious organizations. 

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