Public authorities offer more and more public services by electronic means ("e-services"), but the implementation has been focusing very much on national needs and means. This approach creates new "e-barriers" to cross-border markets and hampers a well-functioning Single Market, as it limits access for enterprises and individuals from other Member States to those public services.
The action plan seeks an EU-wide solution to cross-border use of online public services, proposing a comprehensive approach and committing to quick delivery dates. It aims to assist Member States in implementing mutually recognised and interoperable electronic signatures and eIdentification solutions, in order to facilitate the provision of cross-border public services in an electronic environment. It sets out specific actions on eSignatures and on eIdentification. Although the action plan focuses mainly on eGovernment applications, the suggested actions will also benefit businesses’ applications insofar as the means to be put in place can also be used in Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumers (B2C) transactions.
The action plan combines the work of the various European Commission services involved. It links several of IDABC's security measures that are included in the IDABC work programme, such as eID Interoperability for european eGovernment services, eSignatures for eGovernment applications, and the European Federated Validation Service to the ongoing work regarding eSignatures and internal market instruments.
Action Plan on eSignatures and eIdentification to facilitate the provision of cross-border public services in the Single Market – COM (2008) 798 final.