New EU regulation to enable cross-border electronic signatures

The European Commission has proposed new rules to enable cross-border and secure electronic transactions in Europe. The proposed Regulation aims to ensure people and businesses can use their own national electronic identification schemes (e-IDs) to access public services in other EU countries where e-IDs are available. It also creates an internal market for e-Signatures and related online trust services across borders, by ensuring these services will work across borders and have the same legal status as traditional paper based processes. This will give full effect to the major potential savings of eProcurement.

The proposal fully respects both existing national ID systems and the preferences of those Member States without national ID schemes. It allows countries with e-ID to opt-in or to remain outside of the European scheme. Once a Member State notifies that they wish to join the pan-European scheme, they must offer the same access to public services via e-ID that they offer to their own citizens.

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said "People and businesses should be able to transact within a borderless Digital Single Market, that is the value of Internet. Legal certainty and trust is also essential, so a more comprehensive eSignatures and eIdentification Regulation is needed."