As part of the priority actions agreed within the framework of the EU-Singapore Digital Partnership, both sides intend to share best practices, frameworks, and content, as well as continue dialogues in the field of public sector interoperability. Both sides endeavour to continue to work on the basis of use cases and pilot projects towards interoperability of our trust services, such as digital signatures. Both sides intend to collaborate on digital identity solutions, including continued information exchange on digital signatures.
To this end, an Expert workshop on interoperability and use cases with a session on digital identity and a session on e-signatures was agreed. In preparation for the workshop an Expert analysis to identify concrete digital identity use cases to be presented to CONNECT and Singapore for selection shall be conducted so to facilitate exchanges on best practices and use cases, including on digital identity wallets.
This activity aims to identify potential use case(s) for advanced e-signatures so to strengthen collaboration in the area of e-signatures and at the same time exploring collaboration on the EU’s 3rd countries interoperability programme (TC AdES LOTL) and establish a timeline for the mutual interoperability of e-signatures with the identified use case(s). In the longer term, the EU and Singapore wil work toward formal mutual recognition of qualified e-signatures; and conduct deep dive on e-signatures.
In this context, moreover, the EU’s digital ambition for 2030 and the remaining gaps in the actual uptake and implementation of interoperability have showed the necessity of creating a reinforced and more strategic interoperability policy with strengthened cooperation between the Member States and the EU Institutions on public sector interoperability. Despite efforts in recent decades, some barriers remain in the field of interoperability and digitalisation of public services across Europe. This results in citizens and businesses experiencing troubles when they try to access digital services with more than one EU member state involved.
Therefore, in November 2022, the Commission proposed the Interoperable Europe Act to strengthen interoperability in the public sector. Interoperability allows administrations to cooperate and make public services function across territorial, sectoral and organisational boundaries, while those administrations remain sovereign actors at all levels of government. Citizens and businesses across the EU expect high quality public services from their administrations. Public service delivery rarely functions in isolation. Before the final delivery to the end-user, data must often be exchanged between different public authorities. This exchange happens foremost locally, but also substantially at regional, national and European levels and requires interoperability.
As far as Singapore, the Singapore’s National Digital Identity initiative (NDI) provides citizens and businesses with convenient and secure online transactions with both the government and private sector organisations. Underpinned by Singpass – Singapore’s trusted digital identity – the NDI brings together the Singpass app, Myinfo and Myinfo business to provide greater transactional security and ease of use. Today, citizens can conveniently and easily access government and private sector services through Singpass – from accessing Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings, to renewing insurance policies and digitally signing documents. At present, Singpass has a user base of more than 4.2 million users and provides convenient and secure access to over 1,700 services by more than 460 government and private sector organisations. Singpass facilitates about 300 million personal and corporate transactions every year and serves approximately 97% of Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents aged 15 and above, making it one of the most pervasively adopted national digital identity systems in the world (source GovTech Agency).
Singapore’s NDI has also expanded to include services such as Myinfo business and Corppass, acting as an international business gateway that allows global business transactions and the flow of cross border data and transactions in an open and trusted environment. On top of providing citizens with seamless and secure online experiences, Singapore envisions an NDI that will empower private and public sectors to develop value-added services based on a common and universal trusted framework.