Progress made towards mutual recognition of eID schemes in Europe


Last months saw remarkable progress towards the mutual recognition of electronic identification schemes across the European Union. Four countries have pre-notified their eID schemes, namely Spain, Luxembourg, Estonia and Croatia, following Italy’s pre-notification last November.

Pre-notification is the first of three steps introduced by the Regulation (EU) N°910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (known as the eIDAS Regulation) aiming at building trust between the Member States and ensuring the interoperability and security of notified eID schemes.

Six months prior to the indented notification date, Member States are sharing amongst themselves information relating to their eID schemes, including: a description of the solution, information about the identity provider and the estimated level of assurance, explanation about the liability regime and responsibility of the different authorities, description of the procedure to obtain and revoke an eID and a description of the online authentication process.

The information shared by Member States will provide input for the peer review process, allowing the eID scheme to be assessed against the quality and security requirements laid out by the eIDAS Regulation.

On 20 February 2018, Spain pre-notified its electronic ID card (DNI Electrónico) which features, in its latest version (3.0), a new operating system and a dual interface chip. This allows for an electronic signature to be taken both in a contact-based and contactless mode. The DNIe is compulsory for all Spanish citizens over 14 years of age and residing in the country. The acceptance of the e-DNI as identification means is mandatory for all electronic public services in Spain, may they be national, regional or local and can also be used to access online private services such as banking, telecom operators, etc...

DNI Electrónico, specimen

On 26 February 2018, Luxembourg pre-notified its Luxembourg eID card, consisting in a contactless smartcard. The Luxembourg ID card is compulsory for all Luxembourgish citizens above 15 years old and residing in the country. The activation of the certificates on the national ID card has to be specifically requested when obtained. Citizens can use this identification mean as a way to access public and private online services in Luxembourg.

Luxembourg eID, specimen

On 27 February 2018, Estonia notified six types of Estonian eID: the ID card, the RP card, the diplomatic identity card, Digi-ID, e-Residency Digi-ID, and Mobiil-ID. The first three means are both physical identification documents and digital identities, while the three latter are meant for online identification only. The national ID card is mandatory for Estonians over the age of 15. Mobile-ID is voluntary but can only be activated by owners of a national eID card. The mobile solution has been highly welcomed by the citizens with 12,2% of voters use Mobile-ID.

Estonia eID, specimen

On 28 February, Croatia announced the prenotification of its eID scheme, the National Identification and Authentication System (NIAS) using as an identification means the Croatian personal identity card (eOI). Personal identification data is both printed on the card and electronically stored in the chip. The NIAS is part of the state information system called e-Citizens that includes the Central Government Portal (Gov.hr) system which gather all public services available and Personal User Box (OKP) system.

Croatian NIAS, specimen

The five countries (including Italy) have started a three-month peer-review process – conducted on a voluntary basis by Member States participating in the Cooperation Network – followed by the formal notification.  We expect that in total six eID schemes (cf. Germany’s notification last September) will be notified under eIDAS regulation by 29 September 2018. As of this date, EU Member States will be required to recognise the notified eIDS of other Member States to access public online services requesting electronic identification at the national level.


Last updated on  May 15, 2018 13:48

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