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EU4Digital cross-border digital ID interoperability pilot successful

Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova conduct tests
EU4Digital cross-border digital ID interoperability pilot successful

Public agencies in Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova have successfully tested connecting to foreign digital services using their national digital IDs as part of EU4Digital’s cross-border electronic identification (eID) pilot activities between the Eastern Partnership countries.

The pilot project involved the implementation of the eIDAS-node software, which is used by European Union Member States for cross-border authentication. The updated EUDI regulation, which builds on eIDAS, aims to facilitate digital transactions across the EU.

During the pilot, successful tests were conducted between Armenia and Georgia, Armenia and Moldova, and Georgia and Moldova. This initiative emulates the EU’s model but has been adapted to meet local needs and capabilities. These pilots test the ability of digital ID-holders to access digital services in another country.

Artur Reaboi, chief enterprise architect at Moldova’s e-Government agency, highlights the significance of the pilot for Moldova’s EU aspirations. He notes that since the implementation of the MPass single sign-on (SSO) service in 2012, Moldova has aimed to align with European standards.

“We have chosen the European authentication standard used back then by European Project STORK, namely SAML v2. This resulted in some minor changes to Mpass to transform it to a real eIDAS node for authentication, which we successfully tested with Estonian, Armenian, and Georgian eIDAS nodes during the pilot project. Now we can clearly state that the technical side of European Union integration for electronic authentication is ready,” Reaboi adds.

In January 2023, EU4Digital launched the second phase of the project to establish mutually recognized digital identity across the Eastern Partnership (EaP) and the EU. EKENG, Armenia’s e-governance agency, led the project with guidance from the EU team.

The second phase of the EU4Digital facility will focus on several initiatives including mutual recognition of digital ID and trust services, interoperable cross-border eID pilots, and data governance strategies.

These efforts build on the successes of the first phase, which included testing technical interoperability of digital signatures between countries, conducting an assessment of cross-border eServices interoperability, developing a comparative analysis of digital ID maturity, as well as establishing a framework for digital data interoperability to support public administration reforms.

The EU4Digital eTrust stream is also working on developing a unified approach for mutual trust and recognition of digital IDs and trust services among EaP countries. This effort includes comparing local legislation with the 2014 eIDAS regulation, evaluating the level of assurance provided by digital IDs, and establishing mutual recognition agreements between Eastern Partner countries.

The European Union is driving forward the development of secure digital identification and trust services across the EaP region and the EU through its EU4Digital Initiative.

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