Dutch government organisations enthusiastic about eIDAS

A number of Dutch government organisations are trialling eIDAS at the request of the EU. The EU is also funding this pilot project. European citizens and companies can access these public bodies using their national eID’s. Also the online service counter of the Central Fine Collection Agency (Centraal Justitieel Incasso Bureau, CJIB) can be utilized by citizens of other EU member states.

European networks

“Let us consider, for example, a Frenchman who commits a traffic offence in the Netherlands; the judicial system’s field of activity is obviously not confined to the Netherlands”, says René Bladder, Project Leader of the eIDAS pilot project at the Netherlands Ministry of Justice and Security (JenV). “That is why participation in this eIDAS pilot is a logical step.” Bladder is referring to a pilot project being performed under the ‘Connecting Europe Facility’ scheme, the funding instrument for European networks. Freek van Krevel, policy officer at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, explains: “As part of this programme, the EU called on public authorities to put forward proposals to interconnect the digital infrastructures of European member states. This project would receive EU funding.”

Savings in time and energy

European cooperation in the digital domain is, in fact, nothing new for Bladder’s Ministry. “We participate, for example, in e-CODEX which is a platform for e-messaging between the Ministries of Justice of the European member states”, he says. “This platform is used to exchange international requests for mutual legal assistance and European fines.” During the eIDAS pilot project, in which both the CIBG (implementing agency of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport) and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst Voor Ondernemend Nederland) are participating, JenV will also open up the digital counter of the CJIB to citizens from other European member states. “If the Frenchman mentioned above who received the traffic fine wishes to view the photo taken by the speed camera detector, he will currently have to request that by letter, but in the future he will simply log in and will be able to view the photo almost instantaneously. That will save him and us a lot of time and energy.”

Simple and trustworthy

Belgian citizens are already able to arrange their affairs online. Bladder: “CJIB’s digital counter is used widely by Belgian citizens. This gives them faster access to the information they require, plus this information is available online.”Van Krevel nods in agreement. “In the future, eIDAS will benefit European citizens and businesses in the identical way, but government organisations will also reap the benefits of this. In essence, complicated administrative processes are being exchanged for a simple digital process. eIDAS also allows you to identify anyone wishing to use your digital counter, and this process is trustworthy.”

European login node

Under the direction of Economic Affairs and in consultation with the participants in the pilot project, so-called brokers (Connectis, Digidentity and KPN) are responsible for the connection to the European eIDAS node, through eHerkenning | Idensys. “That connection will be ready before the end of the year”, says Van Krevel. “From that point onwards, all government organisations will be able to start implementing eIDAS.” JenV is already on the home straight with the CJIB, Bladder says. “In the near future we will also be able to connect the other elements of JenV.” By September 2018 at the latest, service providers will have to enable online access by citizens and businesses based in other European countries.

Native language

Does Bladder have any tips for other government organisations? “Think how you will identify the European citizen who is logging in. You will identify Dutch people based on their Citizens Service Number (BSN), but how do you know which German, Belgian or Spaniard is attempting to log in? We have decided to use the reference number on the fine.” Another tip? “Think carefully about how you communicate with foreign visitors to your digital counter. Where do most of them come from and in which language do you address them?” On the CJIB’s website visitors can choose from eleven European languages, including French. Therefore, the Frenchman who received the fine for the traffic offence will not only be able to log into the CJIB’s digital counter using his own eID, but will also be addressed in his own language. “Even though the eIDAS Regulation does not require us to offer multi-lingual support, we believe that this significantly improves the level of service we can offer to foreign visitors.”

Source: https://koppelvlak.logius.nl/nl/magazine/11958/822275/overheidsorganisaties_lopen_warm_voor_eidas.html

Elise Nabbe, Logius (Netherlands)