The Government supports the Commission’s proposal for a European digital identity
The Government supports the European Commission’s initiative to create a legislative framework for a European digital identity and a digital identity wallet application. The Commission’s initiative is in line with Finland’s national preparation.
On 3 June 2021, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on European digital identity. The European digital identity would be a tool for EU citizens, for people living in the EU and for businesses for identification and for indicating data related to a person. It could be used for both public and private electronic and other services. Every EU citizen and person residing in the EU region would have access to a personal digital wallet related to their state-guaranteed identity.
The purpose of the proposed regulation is to reform the eIDAS Regulation adopted in 2014 on electronic identification and trust services related to electronic transactions in the internal market. The proposal aims to promote cross-border electronic identification by two parallel means.
The regulation would create a common legislative framework for the European digital identity and the associated wallet application. EU Member States would be obliged to offer at least one wallet application in accordance with the Regulation. The use of the digital wallet application would be free and voluntary for citizens.
In addition, the proposal would make changes to the current EU Member State notification procedure for electronic identification systems under the eIDAS Regulation. In the future, EU Member States would be obliged to notify the European Commission of at least one compatible identification system.
The fulfilment of the above-mentioned obligations will be assessed nationally. At the national level, the Ministry of Finance is responsible for the work related to the processing and influence of the proposed regulation in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
Government supports the common European solution
The Government supports the creation of the proposed legislative framework for a European digital identity and the associated wallet application. However, this is a new set of regulations that contains obligations significant in terms of principle targeted at EU Member States. As a result, further preparation should particularly take into account the varying capacities of Member States to provide the wallet application to the parties required by the proposal.
The Government considers it justified that certain private sector actors are obliged to adopt the wallet application in their services. Further preparatory work should ensure that the list of sectors that are obliged to approve the wallet application for identification in their services included in the proposal is accurate and appropriate.
According to the Government, it should be ensured that the premise of the proposal for the development of electronic identification will not cause overlapping costs and development work in the Member States. The Government also pays attention to the economic impacts on the private and public sectors, which are still difficult to assess.
In Finland, a digital identity certificate is currently developed in a digital identity project led by the Ministry of Finance. The aim of the project is to create equal prerequisites and opportunities for all people working in social services to demonstrate their digital identity, as confirmed by the authorities. The project will enable electronic identification of people from Finland in the services of other EU Member States while accommodating ongoing joint European development work.
On Thursday 9 September, the Government sent a Union communication on the matter to the Parliament. A Union communication is used in EU affairs whenever there is a matter concerning an EU legislative proposal or other proposal that falls within Parliament’s competence.
Maria Nikkilä, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Information Management, Head of Unit, tel. +358 (0)295 530 514, maria.nikkila(at)vm.fi
Valtteri Aaltonen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Local Government, tel. +358 (0)295 530 399, valtteri.aaltonen(at)vm.fi