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S&Ds: European Digital Identity will remove virtual borders and shape new and active European citizenship

Date

09 Feb 2023

Sections

Global Europe

We have reached another crucial step towards the creation of a concrete and useful European identity – a European Digital Identity Wallet (EDIW) that will enable all EU citizens to access national administrations and private services in all 27 Member States. Initially presented by the EU Commission in 2021, the S&Ds ensured a high level of cybersecurity and data protection. The EDIW will boost digitalisation of public services, completely changing the way public services are delivered and accessed. Pending formal approval during the 13-16 March plenary session, the negotiations with the Council are expected to start in the second half of March.

EU Parliament rapporteur and S&D member, Romana Jerković, said:

“With today's vote, we are one step closer to a European Digital Identity for all European citizens, valid and recognized everywhere in Europe by all 27 national public administrations! The new identity framework is a real game-changer and a huge leap forward for an inclusive digital Europe. Thanks to this proposal, citizens and businesses will be able to use the European Digital Identity Wallet – linking their national identities with documents such as driving license, university diplomas, bank accounts and electronic health records to solve their concrete life situations. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated digitalisation and demonstrated just how important digital technologies and digital tools have become in our everyday life. The Wallet will become a reliable all-in-one identity gateway that puts citizens in full control of their own data and gives them freedom to decide exactly what information to share, with whom, and when.

“The ambition of this report is also to gear up not only the digitalisation of the public services in the Member States but also to raise their quality and availability. Digital identity is no longer just a nice-to-have feature, but a driver of civic engagement, social empowerment and a tool for an inclusive Digital Europe. The way forward toward active and participatory European citizenship.”             

S&D Coordinator in the ITRE Committee, Dan Nica, added:

“The European Digital Identity Wallet (EDIW) needs to be useful for people, and it has to be secure. It has to empower citizens and give them back control over the use and sharing of personal data. Our group advocated for the highest levels of security and data privacy protection when it comes to the design of the Wallet and of the digital identity framework.

“Furthermore, the Wallet should help breach the digital divide and promote social inclusion, participation and access to education and the labour market. “We believe that this proposal is a unique opportunity to become a global leader in the field of digital identity by creating a framework that places people and their rights at its centre, supports solidarity and inclusion, ensures the freedom of choice online, fosters participation in the digital public space, increases safety, security and empowerment of individuals, and that promotes the sustainability of the digital future.”

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