The Commission welcomes the final agreement reached today by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU at the final trilogue on the Regulation introducing European Digital Identity Wallets. This concludes the co-legislators’ work implementing the results of the provisional political agreement reached on 29 June 2023 on a legal framework for an EU Digital Identity, the first trusted and secure digital identity framework for all Europeans.
This marks an important step towards the Digital Decade 2030 targets on the digitalisation of public services. All EU citizens will be offered the possibility to have an EU Digital Identity Wallet to access public and private online services in full security and protection of personal data all over Europe.
In addition to public services, Very Large Online Platforms designated under the Digital Services Act (including services such as Amazon, Booking.com or Facebook) and private services that are legally required to authenticate their users will have to accept the EU Digital Identity Wallet for logging into their online services. In addition, the wallets’ features and common specifications will make it attractive for all private service providers to accept them for their services, thus creating new business opportunities. The Wallet will also facilitate service providers’ compliance with various regulatory requirements.
In addition to securely storing their digital identity, the Wallet will allow users to open bank accounts, make payments and hold digital documents, such as a mobile Driving Licence, a medical prescription, a professional certificate or a travel ticket. The Wallet will offer a user-friendly and practical alternative to online identification guaranteed by EU law. The Wallet will fully respect the user’s choice whether or not to share personal data, it will offer the highest degree of security certified independently to the same standards, and relevant parts of its code will be published open source to exclude any possibility of misuse, illegal tracking, tracing or government interception.
The legislative discussions have strengthened the ambition of the regulation in a number of areas important for citizens. The Wallet will contain a dashboard of all transactions accessible to its holder, offer the possibility to report alleged violations of data protection, and allow interaction between wallets. Moreover, citizens will be able to onboard the wallet with existing national eID schemes and benefit from free eSignatures for non-professional use.
The agreement reached by the co-legislators is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council. Once formally adopted, the European Digital Identity framework will enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal.
Member States will have to provide EU Digital Identity Wallets to their citizens 24 months after adoption of Implementing Acts setting out the technical specifications for the EU Digital Identity Wallet and the technical specifications for certification. These Implementing Acts – to be adopted 6 and 12 months after adoption of the Regulation – will draw on the specifications developed as part of the EU Digital Identity Toolbox, setting harmonised conditions for implementing the wallets all across Europe.
The 2030 Digital Decade policy programme sets out Europe’s ambition for the digital transformation by 2030. According to the Digital Decade targets, by 2030, all key public services should be available online, all citizens should be able to access their online health records and everyone should have access to secure privacy-enhancing eID.
The EU Digital Identity Wallet builds on the existing cross-border legal framework for trusted digital identities, the European electronic identification and trust services initiative (eIDAS Regulation). Adopted in 2014, it provides an initial basis for cross-border electronic identification, authentication and website certification within the EU.
The Commission’s proposal for an upgraded framework, on which co-legislators have reached final agreement today, will improve the effectiveness and extend the benefits of secure and convenient digital identity to the private sector and for mobile use.
Four large-scale pilots, investing more than €90 million, of which €46 million is co-funded by the Commission from the Digital Europe Programme, have started testing the EU Digital Identity Wallet in a range of everyday use-cases, including the Mobile Driving Licence, eHealth, digital payments, and education and professional qualifications. The pilots kicked off on 1 April 2023 and will contribute to enhancing the technical specifications of the wallet.