Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Action 8: Revision of the eSignature directive

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DAE Action 8 on the revision of the eSignature Directive has been merged with DAE Action 83 on mutual recognition of electronic identification to provide a comprehensive and predictable legal framework in view of boosting user empowerment, convenience and trust in the digital world. As indicated in the Digital Agenda Progress Report 2011, these actions will encourage innovation and competition as well as making it easier for small e-business players to access the scale economies of the electronic market place.
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This action has been merged with Action 83 on mutual recognition of electronic identification to provide a comprehensive and predictable legal framework in view of boosting user empowerment, convenience and trust in the digital world.

As indicated in the Digital Agenda Progress Report 2011, these actions will encourage innovation and competition as well as making it easier for small e-business players to access the scale economies of the electronic market. The proposed regulation on eID and eSignature was adopted in June 2012.

What is the Problem? Barriers to cross-border electronic services limit the full benefit offered by the digital single market

There is no comprehensive EU cross-border and cross-sector framework for secure, trustworthy and easy-to-use electronic transactions that encompasses electronic identification and trust services. At the EU level, a legal framework exists only for e-signatures (Directive 1999/93/EC) but not for e-identification (eID) nor for other trust services.

eID technologies and trust services (including eSignatures) are essential for online transactions. However, barriers to cross-border secure electronic services exist and need to be eliminated in order to enable citizens and business to fully benefit from the digital single market.

Why is the EU action required? Open the door to new business opportunities

Boosting trust and confidence in the digital world as well as user convenience are essential prerequisites to stimulate further use and development of the digital single market. Accessing cross-border online services will favour travelling, working and studying across the Union. This will offer new business opportunities for providers of trust services and products as set out in the Europe 2020 strategy

What has the Commission proposed?

The Commission proposed a holistic and comprehensive legal framework which includes consistent and coherent provisions on electronic identification and trust services in order to overcome the deficiencies of the current eSignatures Directive and to provide legal measures on cross-border mutual recognition and acceptance of national eIDs thereby contributing to making Europeans enjoy all the convenience and benefits of the online world.

The Commission adopted the proposal for a Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market in June 2012. The proposal contributes to unlocking the potential offered by the internet revolution. It provides a trustworthy, secure and predictable environment that enables the development of cross-border secure services and business opportunities. This will ensure that enterprises and citizens fully enjoy the opportunities provided by the digital economy in order to achieve a digital single market.

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