The workshop’s goal was to validate the direction the ACROSS project is taking. Research into the landscape of European digital identity has identified a research gap that ACROSS aims to fill. First, however, we needed to validate whether this research direction actually represents a gap in the landscape. In this workshop, we co-created a visual representation of the EU digital identity landscape with external experts. In total, 17 external experts participated in the workshop, of which 1 migration expert, 5 public service providers from Latvia, 1 public service provider from Germany, 3 public service providers from Greece, 4 partners from the MGOV4EU project, 1 person who works closely with eIDAS, and 2 people who deliver digital ID wallet solutions (IRMA and Schluss).

The online workshop lasted for 2 hours, and was split up into four programme items. The first item on the programme was an introduction round in which the participants presented their primary interest and expertise and responded to the preparatory material we had sent out beforehand. This preparation allowed us to immediately dive into the gap analysis.

During the second part of the workshop, the attendees were split up into predetermined break-out rooms, in which they were asked to discuss a couple of questions regarding which gaps the attendees saw in the EU digital identification landscape, what solutions are being built that they know of, and what opportunities are out there for building new solutions.

The third part of the workshop was the most important and extensive. Here the attendees returned to the plenary room and were asked to present which gaps they identified in their group and which solutions and opportunities they saw. During this discussion, two employees of Waag, the partner in charge of organising the workshop, collected the gaps, solutions, and opportunities and pasted them in an illustration of a helicopter view of a river delta. This illustration would represent the landscape of EU digital identity research and development efforts. The rivers and their branches represented the gaps that needed to be bridged. The solutions and opportunities were then visualised as bridges, of different sizes and stages of completion. This follows the analogy that ACROSS is a bridge that connects different peoples, countries, cross-border services, and technological artefacts.

Finally, when we had a complete overview and a visual representation of the landscape of EU digital identity, we turned towards the question: What do you need (from us or similar projects) to reach your goals, and how can we work together to get there? Here, we wanted to create the space to develop new collaborations and partnerships. In the next section, we will delve into the workshop’s outcomes.