The European Commission’s Goal of EUDI Wallet Availability for 80% of Citizens Will Not Be Met by Its 2030 Target

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1Q 2024 | IN-7241

The European Commission (EC) outlined a goal of availability of European Union Digital Identity (EUDI) wallets to 80% of citizens by 2030. This goal could be considered over-ambitious, with continuing development on the specification front and varying levels of digitalization across the member states acting as hurdles to the proposed timeline.

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Focus Remains on the EC's Initial Goal of EUDI Availability for 80% of Citizens by 2030


The requirement of a secure and interoperable digital identity solution for all European Union (EU) citizens remains a priority of the European Commission (EC), where a goal of 80% availability throughout the region was initially set at the inception of the amended eIDAS regulation in 2021. The ambitious target’s feasibility remains in question; uncertainty on the front of regulation, technical specification, and implementing technologies could lead this initial target to be considered over-ambitious as the European Union Digital Identity (EUDI) wallet timeline elapses.

Significant Regulation and Technology Progress Has Been Made, but Hurdles Remain


There is no doubt that progress is being made to reach the end goal of a widescale EUDI wallet rollout. A finalized agreement between the EC and the European Parliament was released in November 2023, piloting began and has progressed, and increasing prioritization and development of industry players is continuing. However, numerous challenges still exist, both in terms of technical specification and surrounding the present state of digitalization of the 27 member states that will operate under the EC’s mandate.

While the scope of the eIDAS framework has seen its final release, implementing acts are currently missing on the regulation front concerning how to manage risk as an ID issuer, being undefined at present. Equally, while seeing development, technical specification within the Architecture and Reference Framework (ARF) for the EUDI is not currently complete. To create further uncertainty, there has been no tangible outcome, to date, from the four major Large Scale Pilots (LSP) (i.e., the EU Digital Identity Wallet Consortium (EWC), Potential, Nordic-Baltic eID (NOBID), and Digital Credentials for Europe (DC4EU)). Outcomes from these pilots is not expected until the end of 2024, when the potential for major adjustments may be revealed, given the security concerns surrounding holding highly-sensitive documents on a mobile device.

The varying state of digitalization across Europe also remains a hurdle. While some nations see maturity on the front of technology development, including Estonia, France, and the Scandinavian countries, others are currently a further distance from being able to implement wallet technology. When considering that the Scandinavian wallet solutions took 5 to 6 years to realize, it casts doubt on the ability of those nations lagging behind to reach maturity in accordance with the EC’s timeline. This varying state not only refers to existing digital solutions and their migration to EUDI, but also the national ID card technology in each nation. Biometric data on-card and contactless capability are enabling technologies; where these are lacking, onboarding and security becomes more of a challenge.

Does EUDI Wallet Progression Align with Initial EC Goals?


Due to the aforementioned reasoning, ABI Research takes the stance that the 80% goal will unlikely be realized by its current target date, and that 2032 is the year that the 80% target will be reached. This will be driven by lagging nations, such as Romania and Bulgaria, that will take more time to deploy a solution. Furthermore, aside from availability itself, vendors are also carefully considering citizen adoption as a related and key focus concerning the EC’s vision of digitalization. Not only creating availability of EUDI wallets, but also sustaining citizen usage once available is critical to the success of the EUDI wallet. This places emphasis on user experience, the balance of usability and security, and the need for use case-agnostic wallet tech to encompass a variety of functionalities. These factors, as well as clearly-defined government strategies and successful outcomes of existing pilots, will shape the ongoing development and timeline within Europe for this technology.



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