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eID Documentation

What are the benefits of eID?

In general, eIDAS eID (supported by CEF eID) offers a means of effective and secure cross-border authentication through the mutual recognition of national eID schemes. In summary, it offers the following key benefits:


Ensures that people and businesses can use their national eID schemes to access services in other EU countries.

  • Legal interoperability: The legal validity of the authentication process when information is exchanged across borders (while respecting data protection requirements).
  • Organisational interoperability: The organisational relationship between the different Member States and the necessary operational management related processes is clear.
  • Semantic interoperability: Semantic elements of cross-border eID authentication are compatible, allowing the different national IT systems across Europe to exchange data with unambiguous, shared meaning.
  • Technical interoperability: The technical elements of cross-border eID authentication are compatible. CEF eID facilitates this by providing a sample implementation of the eIDAS eID technical specifications.


Levels of Assurance (LoA) of eID schemes under eIDAS lower the risk of identity theft and misuse of personal information.


Provides and ensures legal validity of transactions across borders and the same legal status as traditional paper based processes.

eID elements making it a secure cross-border authentification

How can specific actors benefit?

EU citizens

The mutual recognition of national eID schemes means that a citizen of one EU country can access the online public services (and private services in many cases) of another EU country with their own national eID (e.g. eID smartcard or mobile eID). For instance, a Belgian citizen could use his or her national eID smartcard to access the Austrian online tax service. This will drastically reduce the administrative burden in terms of time, expense and effort, associated with the use of foreign public services - a necessity for many in an increasingly globalised world.

Identity Providers 

By connecting to the eIDAS Network, Identity Providers enable citizens or businesses of their country to use their eID scheme(s) to access services in other EU countries. This will increase their potential volume of business, either through:

  • Acquisition of new users due to increased appeal of the service (a range of services accessible in other countries)
  • An increase in the number of log-ins (because the eID scheme is now available for use with more services)

Public Service Providers

Although Public Service providers are obligated under the eIDAS Regulation to accept foreign notified eIDs, they will also benefit in other ways. The recognition of foreign eIDs will reduce reliance on lengthy, paper-based processes, lowering associated costs and improving the overall customer experience. eID schemes included in the eIDAS Network will be peer-reviewed during the notification process, thus guaranteeing the quality and security of the identity data that they manage. Public administrations can therefore have confidence in the validity of the data they receive. 

Private Service Providers

Using the eIDAS infrastructure provides private Service Providers (banks, telecom operators, airlines, etc.) with access to potential customers in other Member States, by allowing foreign EU citizens to use their national eIDs to access their services online. For example, a bank could allow a foreign EU citizen to open a bank account much more easily. Providing secure, trusted access to online services for a wide and international customer base is an important enabler for private sector services. Additionally, as for public Service Providers, the recognition of foreign eIDs will reduce reliance on lengthy, paper-based processes, lowering associated costs and improving the overall customer experience. Private sector organisations can also have confidence in the quality of identity information provided, and the security of that information. E.g. airline companies can be confident that customer identity data is likely to match passport information at check-in. 

Sector-specific EU projects 

Cross-border EU projects delivering public services (e.g. the Online Dispute Resolution platform) will be able to provide secure and trusted access to their services for any citizen or business with an eID linked to the eIDAS Network. To do this, many EU projects will also be able to leverage the EU-Login component, meaning they will not need to implement or manage their own user access management. This represents a significant financial benefit. 

Who benefits from CEF eID?

The CEF eID building block provides a set of services which are designed to make it as easy as possible for eIDAS-Node implementers and operators to build and maintain an eIDAS compliant Node. These include:

  • Sample software, which reduces the effort and cost of implementation
  • Conformance testing, which helps ensure that the implementation complies with the eIDAS eID technical specifications
  • Training, which reduces the learning curve required

CEF eID also provides up to date information on the status of eID across Europe, both of which are of benefit to the broader eIDAS eID ecosystem. There is also the potential for grant funding, which helps eIDAS-Node implementers or Service Providers cover expenses incurred.

Read success stories showing how real projects and organisations have benefited