Finland soon to run a pioneering project for digital passport in the EU

Finland First EU Country to Test Digital Passports

Highlights of Finland Digital Passport

  • Finland is ready to run a trial for digital passport or other digital travel documents.
  • This will be the first instance of its kind in the EU.
  • The aim is to do a test run before recommending it to all EU member states.
  • The digital travel document project will be funded by the EU Commission.

It’s great to hear that new initiatives that can redefine international travel, such as a digital passport, are up for trials. In the latest development, Finland is ready to be the first EU member state to test digital travel documents.

Finland will test the application of digital travel documents in the instance of cross-border travel. The European Commission has always planned to do a pilot project for digital travel documents. The plan is to gather experiences of a trial run of the same and present a proposal. Thus, it will be possible to find out whether the successful implementation of this project in all EU member nations is possible.

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The initial plan is to test a digital travel passport between Finland and Croatia. The funding done by the EU Commission for the same is still waiting for approval. Once the funding gets approval, digital travel documents will be tested at Helsinki airport.

As the response from border authorities says, digital travel documents make the border checks and travel process faster as well as smoother.

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The progress on the project for a digital passport in Finland

The authorities in Finland are right now drafting a funding application for the Commission. This draft has to be submitted by the end of August 2022. The decision on whether the project will be carried out or not is in the pipeline. It will be finalized only after the funding application is submitted.

In case the project gets approval from the European Commission, the Finnish authorities will provide a group of volunteers. These people will have an app on their phones that will have a digital travel document.

Through this app, travelers will be able to give out the information contained in their travel documents electronically to the border authorities before they commence their trip. But they will nevertheless be required to carry their physical passport while they are active in the pilot project.

If the trial comes out successful and gets implemented, people won’t have to take any documentation with them physically. A digital passport or other digital travel documents on their phones will be all that’s needed. The identification of travelers could be as simple as being identified using a photo of their face at the time of their passing a security check or boarding a plane.

Other countries that have worked on a digital passport

In 2021, Ukraine became the pioneer in giving the same legal status to physical and digital passports.

Dila is a phone app issued by the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. Those using the app can have electronic versions of their travel documents. The app can also generate QR codes. These codes have essentially the same power as a traditional physical passport.

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Digital passport has come to the aid of Ukrainians in many situations. These include instances like confirming their age, confirming their identity at the post office, or opening a bank account for a certain number of years. In 2021, they were also recognized at the time of traveling into Ukraine by train or plane.

South Korea and Poland also use digital documentation on smartphones. This is similar to the Finnish project on testing a digital passport. In the US and UK, there are chances to run further pilot projects in the near future.

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