New EU agreement: the Digital Identity Wallet structure is an app

eu digital identity wallet

The European Commission welcomes provisional political deal of the European Parliament and European Council on EU Digital Identity Wallet. This represents an important step towards the introduction of a solid framework for Europe’s first trusted, secure and convenient digital identity app. It marks a Europe’s Digital Decade programme key goal, as will allow all citizens, residents and businesses to have trustworthy access to public and private cross-border online services all over Europe.

The background behind the agreement

As stated by Erik Slottner, Swedish minister for public administration: “More and more people are using their identity and credentials in everyday contacts with public and private entities. A European digital identity wallet is therefore indispensable. At least 80% of EU citizens should be able to use a digital ID solution to access key public services by 2030”.

This quote makes clear that living through digital transformation era directly means pondering about new rules, models and solutions to foster the digitilisation. It represents a crucial aspect regarding people’s everyday personal and work life.

The first steps for the new EU agreement on Digital Identity Wallet were moved in June 2021, when the Commission proposed a new framework for an European digital identity system enabling citizens, residents and companies all over Europe to simplify the experience concerning access to online public and private services.

The EU Digital Identity Wallet concept builds on the existing cross-border legal framework for trusted digital identities, known as eIDAS Regulation and officially adopted back in 2014 (if you want to learn more about this topic, click here). The new framework aims to improve its effectiveness and extend the benefits of digital identities through an empowered technical architecture, especially for what concerns mobile use. No wonder that EU Digital Identity Wallet will be a mobile app.

What is EU Digital Identity Wallet?

The EU Digital Identity Wallet is an initiative by the European Commission to provide a secure, trusted and interoperable digital identity solution for citizens, residents and businesses. This digital identification and authentication system gives individuals more control over their personal data and simplifies access to public and private online services, enabling cross-border interoperability and overcoming any barriers for people living, travelling and working across the European Union.

The EU Digital Identity Wallet is designed to securely and privately store all users digital identity documents in a single place: the EU Digital Identity Wallet mobile app. It will serve as a unique point of entry for individuals to access a wide range of online public and private services, including:

  • E-Government services;
  • Banking and financial services;
  • Healthcare, education and professional services;
  • Internet services, like e-commerce.

EU Digital Identity Wallet’s key principles are privacy, security, and user control. In fact, users can control how personal data are shared, with whom and for which purpose, therefore they can also choose to share only essential information for specific operations. Nevertheless, the EU Digital Identity Wallet ensures the protection of personal data enabling strong security measures, including multiple authentication protocols.

The European Commission is working closely to develop technical frameworks that will ensure compatibility and trustworthiness of the EU Digital Identity Wallet, in compliance with security and privacy standards and also leveraging the latest emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.

EU Digital Identity Wallet: things to know about the mobile app

The EU Digital Identity Wallet will be implemented as a mobile app. This factor isn’t a surprise at all, as nowadays smartphones have become fundamental devices for people in order to carry out everyday activities. Indeed, at least 86% of European population subscribed to mobile services, usually provided through smartphones apps, and this percentage is expected to keep growing in future.

The work for the development of the EU Digital Identity Wallet mobile app (or EUDI Wallet) began in February 2023, specifically with the publication of the first version of a shared EU technical toolbox serving as the essential basis to engineer app’s prototypes.

The European Commission is supporting four large-scale pan-European pilot projects with a massive investment of almost €50 million related to the EU digitilisation programme. The pilots kicked off in April 2023 and will run for at least two years.

The development phase involves more than 250 public and private organisations across EU Member States and non-EU countries, like Norway and Ukraine, and focuses on testing everyday priority use-cases like:

  • Authenticating for online and offline services (e.g. for healthcare or education);
  • Displaying mobile driving licenses;
  • Authorizing payments;
  • Signing documents electronically.

Therefore, the main features regarding the EUDI Wallet will be:

  • A very high trust level, providing users with an all-inclusive solution for secure authentications, authorizations and e-signatures;
  • A harmonized alignment with current ruling concerning cyber security in order to prevent cyber crimes against the personal identities;
  • A synergic matching related to the electronic attestation of attributes by qualified providers and pan-European recognition of such personal ID credentials.

Expectations about the new EU Digital Identity Wallet app

The EU Digital Identity Wallet mobile app, as a key goal of Europe’s Digital Decade programme, will be developed, provided and made operative within 2030, including further updates and features implement.

European Union bodies believe that the EUDI Wallet will change the way people and businesses all over Europe engage with online services by seamlessly integrating convenience, safety and privacy. It will ensure all users to have full control on personal data and the best of operative convenience, by providing a transparent and secure framework. The EU Digital Identity Wallet will empower European citizens and companies, thus will strengthen Europe’s technological sovereignty in the landscape of the digital era.

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