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EDIR 2022: Helping shape the European framework for digital identities

The 3rd European Digital Identity Roundtable (EDIR) took place in Brussels on 27 September 2022 under the auspices of the Czech EU Presidency. Representatives of the European Parliament, Member States and industry discussed the current legislative development of the European Commission’s proposal for a European framework for digital identities.

Discussion about visualisation of website certificates continues

The roundtable focused on the current key issues of the legislative process, with shadow rapporteurs MEP Mikuláš Peksa and Tomáš Vágner from the responsible Council working group presenting on the status quo. The exchange on more controversial aspects of the dossier revolved around the visualisation of Qualified Web Authentication Certificates (QWACs), which create transparency and also confirm and provide the secured identity of the website provider for the user. With a view to Europe’s digital sovereignty, Dr Kim Nguyen, Managing Director of D-Trust GmbH, a company of the Bundesdruckerei Group, called for EU standards for visualising QWACs. According to him, this is in the interest of European consumers and the strengthening of the economy. He expressed hope that even hitherto critical voices in the European Parliament would recognise the importance of secure identities of website providers.

Foto der Teilnehmer des 3. European Digital Identity Roundtable 2022

Member (left to right): Dr. Kim Nguyen (Managing Director of D-Trust GmbH), Michael Butz, Jaroslav Zajíček, Tomáš Vágner, Mikuláš Peksa, Mirja Rasmusson

Focus on digital identity wallet and national anchor identities

Another area of focus at the event was practical implementation of the European digital identity wallet. The discussion centred on regulatory and technical challenges at the European level. Participants agreed that success factors include experiences from national pilot projects and attention to possible use cases. Among other things, the provision of a secure and user-friendly digital identity derived from a national eID as an anchor identity was deemed a prerequisite for a trustworthy digital identity wallet, while attractive and accessible use cases are further success factors. The purpose of the roundtable discussion is to bring together the different stakeholders to help build a digital identity ecosystem.

European digital identity roundtable since 2020

The EDIR was launched in 2020 by European Signature Dialogue (ESD), a platform of leading European providers of electronic signatures, and Bundesdruckerei GmbH. The series of events is a forum for relevant stakeholders and is intended to promote an open exchange on existing initiatives, experiences and best practices to support European institutions and EU Member States in their efforts to create an EU-wide digital identity system.