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As announced in the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan in March 2021, we launched, in cooperation with the Italian social security institution Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS), a pilot project to explore by 2023 the feasibility of introducing a European Social Security Pass.
A European Social Security Pass would help improve the portability of social security rights across borders through the digital verification of citizens’ social security coverage and entitlements by competent actors and institutions.
What is the European Social Security Pass pilot project?
The European Social Security Pass pilot project aims at exploring the feasibility of a digital solution to improve cross-border verification of social security coverage and address challenges in mobile citizens’ identification and authentication for social security coordination purposes.
Such a solution will be developed by leveraging the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) platform, the first EU-wide blockchain infrastructure supporting the delivery of cross-border services, for instance for citizens to manage their own identity, educational credentials and register documents.
In a first phase, the pilot will focus on the digitalisation of the procedures related to the Portable Document PD A1, which certifies the legislation applicable to the holder, and is used for example when a person is temporarily posted by her/his employer to another Member State. An extension to implement further social security coordination procedures (e.g. the European Health Insurance Card) would take place in a second phase.
The pilot project, which started in March 2021, involves around a dozen of interested countries and remains open to participation from other interested Member States. It will address the most relevant technical, organisational and legal issues of the envisaged solution, also in view of a possible large-scale deployment.
With regard to aspects related to people identification/authentication, there will be no need to introduce a unique identifier, since existing or forthcoming digital solutions, such as the proposed framework for a European Digital Identity, could be reused. We have therefore discontinued exploring the introduction of a European Social Security Number.
Key features of the solution
- A digital wallet owned by mobile people handling social security credentials issued by trusted authorities and verifiable online across borders
- Mobile people in control of their own personal data. No need for a unique identifier, such as a European Social Security Number
- More efficient cross-border verification and reduction of fraud
- 2021: Launch of the European Social Security Pass pilot project
- 2022: Presentation of the outcomes of the first phase
- 2023: Presentation of the outcomes of the second phase Recommendations for a possible large-scale deployment