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European Parliament votes to form final law on EU digital wallet



European lawmakers are moving forward with the introduction of a European Union-wide digital wallet by passing a plenary vote on moving the initiative to interinstitutional negotiations.

The European Parliament on March 15 voted in favor of negotiating a mandate for talks with the EU member states on the revision of the new European Digital Identity (eID) framework, according to an official announcement. The plenary vote resulted in 418 votes in favor and 103 votes against the initiative, with 24 parliament members abstaining from the vote.

Following the plenary’s endorsement, the EU council is now ready to start the discussions on the final form of the legislation immediately, the lawmakers said. Parliament’s position during the negotiations will be based on the amendments adopted in the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) in February, the announcement notes.

As previously reported, ITRE included the standard of zero-knowledge proofs in its eID amendments, intending to allow EU citizens to fully control their identity data.

“The scheme would allow citizens to identify and authenticate themselves online — via a European digital identity wallet — without having to resort to commercial providers, as is the case today — a practice that has raised trust, security and privacy concerns,” the European Parliament said.

Related: Euro Parliament approves Data Act that requires kill switches on smart contracts

Introduced in June 2021, the eID legislative proposal aims to create a “European Digital Identity” and a dedicated digital wallet for citizens and businesses in the EU. The “European Digital Identity Wallet,” also known as EDIW, aims to allow people and companies in the EU to store identity data like name and address as well as digitized documents, including data on bank accounts, birth certificates, diplomas and other documents for cross-border use.