The European Digital Identity Revolution: A Paradigm Shift in Access and Security

The Council and Parliament of the European Union have reached a groundbreaking deal on a new framework for a European digital identity (eID). This provisional political agreement signifies a notable shift in digital security in Europe, aiming to ensure universal access to trustworthy electronic form of authentication. Once fully implemented, the implications of this agreement are far-reaching, promising secure and seamless access to cross-border public and private services in the EU.

At the heart of this agreement is a European digital wallet designed to provide citizens and residents with a harmonized of providing proof of identity with ease of use across member states. Erik Slottner, the Swedish minister for public administration, underscores the indispensability of such a wallet, foreseeing that at least 80% of EU citizens should have access to this digital ID solution by 2030. It will be free of charge, ensuring accessibility for all.

The revised regulation expands the list of trust services to keep pace with market dynamics and technological advancements. This includes qualified trust services such as electronic ledgers and the management of remote electronic signature and seal creation devices. The harmonized approach to security benefits citizens and allows online service providers to accept these solutions confidently, regardless of their country of issuance.

The new rules align with existing cybersecurity legislation, leveraging and mandating relevant certification schemes. This ensures compliance of wallets with Cybersecurity requirements. The framework also introduces the obligation for member states to perform unequivocal identity matching for cross-border services, further enhancing security and interoperability.

Retaining the issuance of electronic attestation of attributes by qualified providers, the agreement facilitates pan-European recognition of credentials in electronic form. Users can now limit the sharing of identity data to what is strictly necessary for providing a service, enhancing privacy and data protection.

Technical work is underway to finalize the legal text following the political agreement. Once completed, the text will undergo endorsement by member states’ representatives before formal adoption by the Parliament and the Council. The proposed framework builds upon the 2014 regulation on electronic identification and trust services, laying the foundation for secure online transactions and public service access in the EU.