EU Member States digitally notarise and e-sign declaration ahead of Europe’s digital decade
Today (19 March 2021), high-level representatives of EU Member States and European Institutions gathered for the fourth European Digital Day.
Thierry Breton, the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, and the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union jointly hosted this first exclusively virtual event.
During the Digital Day, Member States signed commitments on data, startups and a green and digital transformation of the EU. These declarations strengthen Europe’s role in the digital world through international partnerships, boosting the digital economy, finding green digital solutions and more. CEOs from the ICT sector were invited to sign a declaration committing to a greener digital future.
Trust, sustainability and interoperability guaranteed
In a symbolic and practical gesture, the day’s political declarations were both electronically signed and notarised.
Signatories from Belgium, Cyprus, Poland, Portugal and Romania signed using interoperable electronic signatures, a technology the European Commission and EU Member States have supported - most recently through the CEF eSignature Building Block. CEF eSignature provides standards, tools and services that help accelerate the creation and verification of electronic signatures that are legally valid and technically interoperable in all EU Member States. This Building Block is widely reused to create trustworthy electronic signatures throughout the internal market. This includes international agreements by EU Institutions and the signing of legislation.
The integrity of these declarations was then ensured for posterity by notarising them using the notarisation use case of the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure, or EBSI. Notarisation is one of the four EBSI use cases (alongside Self-Sovereign Identity, Diplomas and Trusted Data Sharing). These use cases are built on top of the infrastructure, which is a network composed of distributed nodes across Europe that will use blockchain technology to deliver cross-border public services.
Both the eSignature Building Block and EBSI are part of a wider package of reusable digital solutions that help connect Europe’s national I.T. landscapes.
Europe's Digital Decade
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called for us to make this Europe’s digital decade. The commitments contained within the political declarations signed at today’s Digital Day offer concrete proposals on how we can make this happen. From building data gateways, supporting European SMEs and committing to the twin digital and green transitions, the European Commission and EU Member States are committed to a secure digital future.
Electronic signatures that are both legally and technically valid across borders, and the harnessing of blockchain technology to notarise documents securely are necessary – if not sufficient – steps to build a digital Europe acting with global responsibility.
The Commission calls on European administrations, businesses and citizens to adopt open and resusalbe solutions to realise our common ambitions of a digital economy and society built on trust and security.
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