The European Commission is running a three-year pilot project to get national identity cards to work in different countries.
The €20m project hopes to make eID cards work in 13 member states. The goal is to find a common set of specifications so different cards will allow access to services in all countries.
The Commission believes there are 30 million eID cards in use across Europe.
Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media, said: "By taking advantage of the development in national eID systems and promoting mutual recognition of electronic identities between Member States, this project moves us a step closer to seamless movement between EU countries that Europeans expect from a borderless Single European Market."
The Commission hopes the project means access to services will be possible on mobile devices as well as PCs. UK citizens will access services using their passports.
Secure idenTity acrOss boRders linKed, or Stork, will use existing systems and does not seek to replace them.
The countries involved are: Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Iceland, not an EU member, is also taking part.
In other news the Commission wants technology to improve European citizens' access to justice. The e-Justice scheme will create a European portal to improve access to legal information and improve co-operation between judges and enforcement agencies. ®