digital citizenship

European digital citizenship: everything you need to know

Share this post:

Alongside the concept of European citizenship there is that of digital citizenship. Indeed, the European Commission has emphasised how important it is for Europe not to rely on outdated solutions from other countries of the world, but instead to embrace new technologies and information and communication technologies (ICT), realising the so-called digital transition.

Table of contents

Digital literacy in Europe

First of all, a whole range of tools (identity, domicile and digital signatures, for etc.) must be available to European citizens, the PA of individual member States and companies.

The constant use of smartphones, tablets and PCs or Macs and increasingly powerful networks, on the other hand, has profoundly influenced almost all fields of society: from the way of conceiving life, to the economy, to the management of public affairs.

Therefore, one cannot be a digital citizen of something one does not know; one has to develop and possess adequate digital literacy in order to raise the level of awareness in the population.

European digital citizenship: what it is, the definition

For the Council of Europe, digital citizenship is «the ability to participate actively, continuously and responsibly in community life (local, national, global, online and offline) at all levels (political, economic, social, cultural and intercultural)».

It is based on the principle that, in Europe, the recognition of the digital identities of individual member States would guarantee a high level of security and compliance with the data protection rules of the GDPR.

The concept of digital citizenship, in fact, goes hand in hand with that of European citizenship, which provides for free movement and the right of residence throughout the EU, as well as a whole series of other rights.

The aim of the European Commission, therefore, is to make the online services of other countries available without EU citizens having to create new accounts, or provide additional personal information.

Digital citizenship in Italy

In Italy, the latest significant changes date back to legislative decree no. 217 of 13 December 2017, published in the Official Gazette on 12 January 2018, which issued the supplementary and corrective provisions to legislative decree no. 179 of 26 August 2016, concerning amendments and additions to the Digital administration code, dating back to 2005, pursuant to article 1 of law no. 124 of 7 August 2015, on the re-organisation of public administrations, called precisely the Digital citizenship charter.

digital citizenship

Digital citizenship charter (CAD): what it provides

The Digital citizenship charter enshrines the right of citizens and companies «also through the use of information and communication technologies to access all data, documents and services of interest to them in digital mode, in order to guarantee simplified access to personal services» and «reducing the need for physical access to public offices».

The latest news on digital citizenship concerns the definition of certain rights and duties and the simplification of relations with the PA. Let’s now see in detail which information and communication technologies the government, in line with European directives, has decided to adopt.

Digital domicile

Digital domicile means a certified electronic mail (PEC) address, through which it is possible to exchange communications having the same legal effects as communications by registered mail with return receipt and equivalent to service by post, unless the law provides otherwise.

Unique digital ombudsman

The Charter provides for the election of a unique digital ombudsman, i.e. a legally recognised figure who, on the recommendation of citizens themselves, will intervene in defence of their interests with defaulting administrations or public service concessionaires.

Digital and electronic payments

All citizens are entitled to digital and electronic payments, i.e. to make transactions via credit, debit, prepaid, limited spend cards, smartphones, tablets and wearable devices. These are systems that allow purchases and other banking transactions to be made easily, securely and traceably.

Digital signature

A digital signature is a tool that allows documents to be exchanged on the network with full legal validity, guaranteeing their authenticity, integrity and nonrepudiation. The digital signature uses a pair of asymmetric keys, one private and one public. The first is known only to the holder and is used to affix the signature to the document, the second to verify the authenticity of the signature.

Digital signatures, qualified signatures and advanced electronic signatures integrate the written form and have the effectiveness of a private contract under art. 2702 of the Italian Civil Code. In addition, the digital signature has the same value as a handwritten signature on paper and complies with the European eIDAS regulation.

In order to use digital signatures, it is necessary to purchase special kits from certified companies, activate them and validate the documents with specially designed software.


The new electronic identity card (CIE) replaces the old paper identity card; like the SPID, it allows access to PA services. Basically, it is a plastic card with a microchip inside that contains the holder’s personal data, photo, fingerprints and tax code.

The CIE has the same value as a paper identity card and is also valid for expatriation in the countries of the European Union and in those countries that adhere to the Schengen agreements.

In order to access enabled online services, it’s necessary to have a smart card reader or a device compatible with NFC technology.

Finally, the CieID app, combined with a PIN code and a PUK code, allows you to consult your data and check whether your identity card is active.


The National Register of Resident Population (ANPR) was established by art. 2 of decree-law no. 179/2012, converted by law no. 221 of 17 December 2012. The ANPR replaces the National Index of Registries (INA) and collects, for the Ministry of the Interior, all the registry data of citizens residing in Italy and abroad.

The ANPR serves to simplify operations such as changes of residence, migrations, censuses and to guarantee a higher quality of anagraphic data.

Thanks to ANPR, citizens can easily and securely access online registry services without having to go to the counter of their municipality.

Some of the services available are:


How to get the SPID quickly?

Getting Italian, and therefore European, digital citizenship is already possible thanks to

Once you have logged in and activated your account, you will be able to easily use hundreds of online services accessible from all over Europe.

Services accessible with a digital identity

Thanks to digital identity, it’s possible:

The list could go on; these are just a few examples of the services that SPID can offer, but there are many more. You can consult the full list of SPID services on the official website

Enjoy the benefits of European digital citizenship

Digital citizenship is, therefore, a useful tool to exercise one’s rights and duties as European citizens and to take opportunities offered by the EU market.

It’s a reality involving more and more citizens and online services, without which the actual functioning of the European Union would be difficult.

If you would like to learn more about European digital citizenship or would like to become our partner, please contact us by filling in the contact form below or call us on 095 7463250. A team of European subject matter experts will show you the best opportunities to take benefits from European digital citizenship. Contact us, we are waiting for you.

e-Medine: let’s stay together

Keep the pace with Europe! Fill out the Contact Form to get in touch with e-Medine
This site uses cookies to improve users' browsing experience and to collect information on the use of the site.