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Europe’s Digital Identity Regulation Signals a New Digital Sovereignty Era

The Council of the European Union has recently unveiled a pioneering legal framework for a European digital identity, set to revolutionize how citizens across the continent access and use digital services. Published in the Official Journal of the European Union on April 30, 2024, this groundbreaking regulation introduces a secure and trustworthy digital wallet for all Europeans, promising enhanced security and convenience in the digital age.

What is the European Digital Identity Regulation?

Under the new law, member states will offer citizens and businesses digital wallets that link their national digital identities with proof of other personal attributes (e.g., driving licence, qualifications, bank account). Citizens can prove their identity and share electronic documents from their digital wallets using their mobile phones.

The new European digital identity wallets (EDIWs) will allow all citizens to access online services with their national digital identification, which will be recognised throughout the EU without using private identification methods or unnecessarily sharing private data. User control ensures that only information that needs to be shared will be shared.

Key provisions of the Regulation

  1. By 2026, each member state must make a digital identity wallet available to its citizens and accept EDIWs from other member states.
  2. Sufficient safeguards have been included to avoid discrimination against anyone choosing not to use the wallet, which will always remain voluntary.
  3. The wallet's business model: issuance, use, and revocation will be free of charge for all natural persons
  4. .The validation of electronic attestation of attributes: member states must provide free-of-charge validation mechanisms only to verify the wallet's authenticity and validity and the relying parties' identity.
  5. The code for the wallets: the application software components will be open source, but member states are granted leeway so that, for justified reasons, specific components other than those installed on user devices need not be disclosed.
  6. Consistency has been ensured between the wallet as a form of eID and the scheme under which it is issued.

The new Regulation also clarifies the scope of the qualified website authentication certificates (QWACs), which ensures that users can verify who is behind a website while preserving the current well-established industry security rules and standards.


Next steps

The Regulation will enter into force on May 20, 2024. The deadline for the publication of the first set of implementing acts related to EUDI Wallet and electronic attribute attestations is November 21, 2024, and other implementing acts related to all other trust services on May 21, 2025.

For inquiries please contact:

RBI Regulatory Advisory

Raiffeisen Bank International AG | Member of RBI Group | Am Stadtpark 9, 1030 Vienna, Austria  | Tel: +43 1 71707 - 5923