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Finland and Germany intensify cooperation to promote digital identification

Ministry of Finance
22.9.2021 14.34
Press release
Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero and Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor and Government Commissioner for Digital Affairs Dorothee Bär signed the joint declaration.

Finland and Germany have signed a joint declaration based on the countries’ joint desire to support the progress of the proposed regulation on European digital identity, and to accelerate the development of joint European solutions based on digital identity. Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero and Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor and Government Commissioner for Digital Affairs Dorothee Bär signed the joint declaration on Wednesday 22 September 2021.

“Finland and Germany are at the forefront of the development of European digital identity. That is why it is only natural that we are working together to promote the adoption of solutions based on European values that guarantee data security for users throughout the European Union,” says Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero, who is responsible for digitalisation in public administration.

“More and more countries in Europe are embracing our vision for user-centric, decentralised identity. We are thrilled that after the announcement of our partnership with Spain in July, we are now taking the natural next step through our partnership with Finland to show all of Europe the potential of self-sovereign digital identity,” says Minister of State Dorothee Bär.

In June 2021, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on European digital identity and the related digital wallet application. The European digital identity and the digital wallet would provide EU citizens, people living in the EU, and businesses with a tool for identification and for attesting officially confirmed identity details.

The purpose of the cooperation between Finland and Germany is to explore and drive the development of solutions based on self-sovereign identity (SSI) and to promote the related European legislation. SSI-based solutions, combined with digital wallets for exchanging personal data and other verified information, would make citizens better equipped to manage their own personal data and to exchange and verify various types of personal data and certificates using a smartphone or other electronic media.

The two countries also intend to design and conceptualise a pilot project involving the use of a digital wallet in cross-border services. The results would help create a common European technical architecture and common standards, and make it easier to share best practices. 

Finland and Germany form a joint digital identity working group that coordinates measures to implement the objectives set out in the joint declaration. Other EU Member States are also invited to join the cooperation. In addition to Finland, Spain and Netherlands have signed a joint declaration with Germany. 

The development of digital identity in Finland centres on a project led by the Ministry of Finance that seeks to create equitable conditions and opportunities for everyone accessing public services to attest officially confirmed identity details in digital form.  The project will provide Finnish people an opportunity to use electronic identification to access services in other EU Member States. The project also takes account of ongoing joint European development work.

Inquiries

Juhani Korhonen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 530 234, juhani.korhonen(at)vm.fi
Kimmo Mäkinen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 530 930, kimmo.makinen(at)vm.fi
Valtteri Aaltonen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Local Government, tel. +358 295 530 399, valtteri.aaltonen(at)vm.fi