If you are a Danish expat experiencing issues related the transition from NemID to MitID, the Danish Agency of Digitalisation’s best advice is to come home and show up at the local Citizens’ Service Center.
The main issue of concern is that NemID-users living abroad, who has not yet acquired a MitID, are required to obtain an identity verification through NemID, which causes significant technical problems. The points at issue are also evident for Danes stationed, or locally hired, by the Danish Government in other countries and people without a Danish passport although with an economic connection, or family ties, to Denmark.
Over the course of the summer, Danish newspaper, Politiken, has published a series of articles about the digitalization of public services in Denmark, and how it is challenging for many citizens, especially the elderly. Subsequently, Politiken and Danes Worlwide received numerous appeals from frustrated Danes abroad feeling neglected and left in the dark by Danish public authorities. Danes Worldwide raised the matter and spoke to several Danish medias, after which Politiken published an article viewing the matter from the Danish expats’ point of view.
Rikke Zeberg is the Director of DI Digital of Dansk Industri (DI), representing Danish companies who has stationed Danish employees throughout the World. She considers it unacceptable.
– Obviously, it cannot be tolerated that Danes living in Australia, or in other countries far away from Denmark, will have to travel to Denmark to acquire MitID. A solution ought to be found through, for instance, setting up digital support meetings or enabling access to support at the Danish Embassies, she said.
Rikke Zeberg adds that DI fears expats feel excluded and will lose faith in the Danish Government and its digital solutions, even though this is not the government’s, or the banks’, intention.
Danes Worlwide has itself received a vast majority of petitions of dissatisfaction with the Danish public services system from Danish expats.
– It is problematic and completely uncomprehensive that Danes living abroad are not even considered included in this process of transition. Apart from the general technological issues all Danes are battling, they endure being referred to the local Citizen’s Service Center which, naturally, is challenging when you are living in Australia or USA, said General Secretary, Michael Bach Petersen.
He further points to the fact that many Danish expats has properties, bank savings, pensions, or other things which require digital contact with Danish Authorities and companies.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not wish to comment and refers to the Danish Agency of Digitalisation.
The Danish Agency of Digitalization does not wish to respond to the critique of neglecting Danes living abroad, or whether it is reasonable demanding they travel home to receive technical support. However, the Agency claims a solution is on its way, enabling the utilization of foreign passports for establishing MitID through the MitID app. The Agency further points out, that only the use of NemID for bank activities ceases 31 October, after which citizens are still able to access puclic self-solution services as skat.dk.
– If it is not possible for you to acquire MitID within 31 October, and you wish to access mobile- or online bank services, you must contact your bank, the Agency states on its web page.
On 6 October, Politiken hosted a debate on “the digital sub-class of society” featuring Danish actress Ghita Nørby – and a loudly participating audience – who has become somewhat of an ambassador and spokesperson to the large group of Danish citizens being alienized by the fast digitalization of society. Ghita served sharp comments and critical questions to the attending politicians and representative from the organization IT-Branchen, while targeting the social welfare state and the politician’s will to take action.
Danes Worldwide represents the estimated 250.000 Danes living abroad equaling the third largest municipality in Denmark. The organization’s goal is to provide for Danes living and working abroad and care for their general wellbeing through assisting with citizenship, suffrage, and family reunification.
Danes Worlwide continues to urge the Danish Agency of Digitalization in finding solutions and is happy to receive inputs of suggestions to pass on.