Digital administration

NH – 02/2023

Mobility within the EU will be made even easier and digitally expanded during the coming years. Living or working in or between different EU member states will be made considerably easier with the help of the European Social Security Pass (ESSPASS). The ESSPASS should specifically include social security cards. The pilot project that involved it has now been completed.

Pilot project

The intention is for ESSPASS to include three administrative procedures from the social security sector – the A1 posting certificate, the European health insurance card and the PDP 1 application for a summary of pension decisions – all will be digitally accessible in the future. A pilot project was launched in conjunction with the Italian National Institute for Social Welfare, which initially only dealt with digitising the A1 certificate. EU citizens need this if they are working abroad in the EU but continue to pay social security contributions in their home country. The A1 certificate confirms that the employee is covered by social security in their home country whilst working abroad. Until now, citizens had to present a paper version of the certificate for verification by the authorities. This digital certificate will be found in a digital wallet, the EU ID wallet or even their own wallet in the future.

The Wallet

Citizens must be able to access their wallet in order to be able to use ESSPASS and its functions. It will enable identification to be confirmed throughout Europe as well as the ability to submit documents in digital form. The wallet is being developed using European Blockchain Service Infrastructure (EBSI) that will guarantee the highest level of data security for authentication and verifications.


Up to now, social security data could only be exchanged across borders in Europe using the Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information system (EESSI). However, this is a closed system that only allows digital data to be transferred between social security organisations. This is where ESSPASS comes in and it complements EESSI. In the future, mobile citizens will be able to use ESSPASS to prove the authenticity and validity of their insurance cover, e.g. to authorities or health care facilities.

A1 – digital secondment certificate

Digitally issuing, applying and carrying the A1 certificate of posting relieves not only the employees, but also employers and the German Statu­tory Pen­sion Insur­ance as well as the Statutory Health Insurance as the issuing authorities. A continuous digital workflow that is easy to use from all three sides will play the main role here. In particular, digital exchanges between the responsible institutions and the citizens must be fully digitised. The results from the pilot project will be presented on 1 March at the Digitisation in Social Security Coordination Conference.

The European Comission has now announced two projects that will develop and establish a new workflow for the EU ID wallet based on the initial pilot project. Social security institutions from 20 EU countries and Norway have joined together and are working on a solution in two consortia (dc4eu and the Vector Consortia). Simplifying the process and the associated cost and time reductions will play an especially important role here.

Data security

The highest security regulations will apply to data collecting and transmitting in order to ensure the security of your own data. They will be assigned under the certification system of the EU Cybersecurity Act. Users will have the option of managing the data themselves and deciding what should be stored in their EU ID wallets.


The two phases of the initial EU-funded ESSPAS pilot project have been completed. The two new pilot projects will build on this and put ESSPASS on a broader European basis. The aim is to extend them to include the administrative procedures that will be made available online via the digital gateway as from the end of 2023. Work is also continuing on the EU ID wallet, which should be available to all citizens by 2024.