Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

Passport, Identity Management and Access Control

Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen

Action: 31001

Acronym: PRIMA


This action is emerging from the experiences gained during the more than two years of successful work in the action BORSEC. The lessons learned indicate the need to focus it on the aspects of electronic identification (eID) activities.

Verification of the identity of persons (e.g. at the border as part of the border crossing procedure) is only one particular element in a more comprehensive control process, and currently it is exclusively static and uses only a reduced set of the possible technologies. Application areas requiring identification, verification and authentication are expanding from persons to processes and infrastructures, including hardware and components, and addressing additional objectives for verification and authentication, moving from static environments to flexible and mobile ones.

To respond to these trends, the action has to refocus intensifying work on eID in the context of borders and access control. The JRC is the unique research institution in Europe that could provide unbiased advice in the proper usage of these new technologies, with due consideration of their ethical implications, thus contributing in a responsible way to improve the security for citizen, public administration and society.

The Action PRIMA aims at providing policy support and developing application oriented research on the security of electronic identification. Beside the related technologies, such as biometrics, Public Key Infrastructures (PKI) or hardware based identities, the goals/aims will include improving the underlying processes.

The action will address upcoming needs, chances and challenges for necessary assessments, foster related methodologies, initiating required standards and criteria as a harmonised European security reference.

The main interest is in cross-border and European-wide challenges. Accordingly, the Action should initiate European-wide networks of competence, motivating and inviting partners from research, industry and user communities to participate.

The main focus will be the preparation of the technical contributions ensuring security for future applications in eID with respect to the identification, verification and authentication of persons, processes and HW (e.g. sensors), applicable in static and flexible (mobile) environments including critical infrastructures. This will provide substantial contributions and valuable input for political decisions, as guidance / support for policy makers, industry and public administrations, to improve existing applications and installations, and will become a central, important building block for upcoming solutions.

This approach shall be seen in a close cooperation with experts from secure communication (e.g. CORSA Action) and the Critical Infrastructure Action (SCNI) in the unit.

Relevant infrastructures for testing and simulation for vulnerability, conformance and interoperability have to be used as far as available, it should be tailored or expanded or established where appropriate and used for demonstration and as a centre for the proof of concepts.