Action 8: Revision of the eSignature directive

What is the Problem? Need to eliminate barriers to cross-border electronic services

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 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 all kinds of 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 on 4th 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.