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European Digital Identity framework proposed by Commission

European Digital Identity framework proposed by Commission
04 June 2021

The European Commission proposed yesterday a framework for a European Digital Identity which will be available to all EU citizens, residents, and businesses in the EU. Citizens will be able to prove their identity and share electronic documents from their European Digital Identity wallets with their smartphones. They will be able to access online services with their national digital identification, which will be recognised throughout Europe. The use of the European Digital Identity wallet will always be at the choice of the user.

Member States will offer citizens and businesses digital wallets that will be able to link their national digital identities with proof of other personal attributes (e.g. driving licence, diplomas, bank account). These wallets may be provided by public authorities or by private entities, as long as they are recognised by a Member State. This will enable all Europeans to access services online without having to use private identification methods or unnecessarily sharing personal data. With this solution, they will have full control of the data they share.

The European Digital Identity will be:

  • Available to anyone who wants to use it: Any EU citizen, resident, and business in the Union who would like to make use of the European Digital Identity will be able to do so.
  • Widely useable: The European Digital Identity wallets will be useable widely as a way either to identify users or to prove certain personal attributes, for the purpose of access to public and private digital services across the Union.
  • Users in control of their data: The European Digital Identity wallets will enable people to choose which aspects of their identity, data and certificates they share with third parties, and to keep track of such sharing. User control ensures that only information that needs to be shared will be shared.

To make it a reality as soon as possible, the proposal is accompanied by a Recommendation. The Commission invites the Member States to establish a common toolbox by September 2022 and to start the necessary preparatory work immediately. This toolbox should include the technical architecture, standards and guidelines for best practices.

The Commission will also work with Member States and the private sector on technical aspects of the European Digital Identity. Through the Digital Europe Programme, the Commission will support the implementation of the European Digital Identity framework, and many Member States have foreseen projects for the implementation of the e-government solutions, including the European Digital Identity in their national plans under the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

 

Image © European Commission, 2021

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