As the health pass is set to become a standard for traveling in Europe this summer, the European Union is working in parallel on a virtual portfolio project to facilitate the procedures of European citizens during their stays in the Member States in the context of the post-pandemic.
According to information from Financial Times, the European Commission will unveil its digital wallet project on Wednesday 2 June, which will allow citizens of the 27 countries to store official documents in a secure space, such as a driver’s license or health insurance card, but also means of payment and digital signatures, which would be recognized beyond their initial borders with the same legal status as the usual paper-based processes.
The use of this tool, which could be operational in about a year, would not be not mandatory but strongly encouraged. The idea is to allow European nationals to connect easily and securely to the websites of local governments and to carry out online procedures with public and private services using the same identity recognized at European level.
To enroll in college, rent a car or open an account in a country of the 27
A person willing to rent a car, for example, could use his European digital wallet to do so remotely via a dedicated application that would verify his identity and provide an electronic key allowing him to collect the vehicle without having to queue at a counter at the airport, explains the Financial Times. The virtual wallet could also facilitate the procedures for registering for a university foreigner, remote opening of a account banking, the creation of a business or the submission of a declaration taxes in another Member State.
This initiative is part of the 750 billion euro recovery plan decided by the European Union in July 2020, of which around 20% of credits are allocated to digital sovereignty. Brussels hopes in particular to convert 100% of public services to digital and provide 80% of European citizens with a digital identity by 2030. The objective is in particular to free itself from the services of large American companies.
Currently only 19 countries use digital IDs and not all are compatible with each other. According to the sources of Financial Times, discussions are underway to establish the technical standards that will allow the deployment of this virtual portfolio. Access to space could be protected by a system of recognition of fingerprints digital or from reconnaissance facial and Brussels wants to ensure that companies and services that access the data cannot reuse it for commercial purposes.