EU leaders to propose regional digital ID system rules and funding by mid-2021

EU leaders to propose regional digital ID system rules and funding by mid-2021

The European Union is planning to establish an EU-wide digital ID system, with a proposal due by the middle of 2021, and leaders will seek to fund it with resources from its economic recovery fund, according to Euractiv.

EU leaders will request the European Commission to develop the service to support continued integration of digital services and economies in the region. EU rules have evolved over the past several years to make national digital identity systems more interoperable through eIDAS regulation.

Leaders are expected to call for “EU-wide secure public electronic identification (e-ID) to provide people with control over their online identity and data as well as to enable access to cross-border digital services,” a draft document seen by Euractiv reads.

EC Vice-President for Digital Margarethe Vestager launched public consultations over the summer to consider revisions to eIDAS. That consultation closes on October 2. The Commission is also expected to publish its Digital Services Act by the end of the year, which will include some details on how the EU will extend its digital identification framework.

Leaders are planning to call for a “significant part” of a €672 billion (US$797 billion) Recovery and Resilience Facility to be used to boost digital services. Commissioners are also planning to discuss the role of “gatekeeper” online platforms in the digital ecosystem as part of a competition review.

Insurers in the bloc have come out in support of the move, Law360 reports, with an industry lobby group expressing broad support for extending the legal framework for digital identity to the private sector.

“There is a need for further clarity over the exact regulatory and technological implementation of such a system,” industry group Insurance Europe said in a statement. “It would therefore be important to involve the industry from the start in the development of any EU identification scheme.”

IE also warned against overlapping regulation, or saddling online processes with higher legal requirements then in-person processes.

The Center for Data Innovation has likewise warned against the risk of over-regulation in the process of standing up the new digital ID, and called for government—issued digital IDs to be made available to businesses.

The Financial Markets Law Committee has suggested that improved digital identifiers for businesses could also improve Europe’s money-laundering controls.

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