Digital movement in politics: Europe gets a “digital wallet“

Illustration Corinna Heumann/ Text Susanne Gold

The European Union (EU) is preparing for the digital era. The implementation of a standardized digital proof of identity, valid across the entire EU, is on the agenda and is scheduled to be established by 2030.

This development will allow EU citizens to digitally authenticate themselves throughout Europe using their smartphones or tablets, enabling secure and convenient access to various government and digital services.

Representatives from EU member states and the European Parliament have agreed on the regulations for a digital wallet, commonly referred to as an “ID wallet.”

This ID wallet will be installed on mobile devices, such as smartphones, and will contain essential user identity information. It will facilitate easy access to a wide range of public and private services. Rather than a single European digital wallet, a technical framework for the interoperability of national ID wallets will be established.

The introduction of a European digital identity is expected to provide numerous benefits to EU citizens..

The wallet will have the capacity to store identity information, as well as documents such as driver’s licenses, credentials, or health certificates.

Citizens will always retain control over the data contained in their wallets, allowing them to choose freely which information to disclose when using online services..

To ensure widespread adoption of ID wallets, public authorities and certain business sectors, such as the financial industry, will be required to accept them. Internet platforms will also need to recognize ID wallets, provided they are used by at least 10 percent of the population.

This measure aims to ensure that ID wallets have broad applicability and become an integral part of everyday digital life in the EU.

The introduction of a unified European digital identity is part of a larger initiative aimed at establishing trustworthy e-commerce within the European digital single market.

Businesses will benefit from ID wallets, as they will simplify lengthy identification processes.

Opening a bank account, applying for a loan, renting a car, or checking in at hotels will become much more convenient. Even in the public sector, ID wallets can be used for various applications, such as university applications, apartment registrations, or tax returns.

I also hope that by 2030 we will have nationwide internet coverage in Germany to support the use of the digital wallet… 🙂

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