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European digital wallet framework endorsed by EU Parliament committee

European digital wallet framework endorsed by EU Parliament committee

A draft of the legal framework governing the European digital identity project has received endorsement from a European Parliament committee, bringing the EU Digital Identity (EUDI) Wallet closer to reality.

Officially known as the European Electronic Identification and Trust Services Initiative, the eIDAS 2.0 regulation was adopted by the parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) on Friday. The draft was adopted with 35 votes in favor, 13 against and six abstentions.

“I am confident that we managed to design a good framework that is underpinned on these five principles: security, privacy, interoperability, usability and availability,” says Alin Mituta, who represented the liberal party Renew Europe in the negotiations. “The work however is not done yet, the success of the Wallets is further dependent on the implementation phase.”

As the EU’s largest digital initiative, the EUDI Wallet will allow European citizens to access both public and private digital services through a mobile app while maintaining control over personal data and digital assets.

Despite resistance to eIDAS from civil rights organizations, security experts and data advocates, the European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the legal framework in November. EU bodies will still have to deliver Implementing Acts that set out technical specifications connected to the wallet. Member states will have an obligation to provide the EUDI Wallet to their citizens 24 months after they adopt the Implementing Acts.

Meanwhile, the continent kicked off four large-scale pilots testing the wallet in April, including for applications such as Mobile Driving Licenses, eHealth, digital payments, and education and professional qualifications. The Commission has earmarked €46 million (roughly US$49 million) for the programs, involving more than 250 private and public organizations across Europe.

Last week, the Council of the European Union proposed changes to legislation for issuing mobile driver’s licenses into EUDI Wallets which suggest a complete overhaul of the EU’s Directive on Driving Licenses.

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