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Brussels, 14th October 2014
Q&A: Electronic Identification and Trust Services (eIDAS) Regulation
What is the eIDAS Regulation about?
The eIDAS Regulation enables the use of electronic identification means and trust services (i.e. electronic signatures, electronic seals, time stamping, registered electronic delivery and website authentication) by citizens, businesses and public administrations to access on-line services or manage electronic transactions.
What are the benefits of the eIDAS regulation?
Why not just update the e-Signature Directive?
The e-Signature Directive (Directive 1999/93/EC) has been in place for 15 years. The Directive has gaps, such as undefined obligations for national supervision of service providers, legal and technical cross-border interoperability issues, and does not cover new technologies having emerged since 1999 (such as mobile or cloud signing).
These issues are best addressed by integrating the e-signature rules into eIDAS rules.
When will the Regulation apply?
The eIDAS regulation entered into force on the 17 September 2014.
After the adoption of relevant implementing acts (expected by mid-2015) Member States may voluntarily recognise notified e-identification of the other Member States.
The rules for trust services will apply from 01/07/2016.
The mandatory mutual recognition of eIDs will apply from mid-2018.
Will this Regulation directly apply to the EU Institutions?
No. An EU Regulation is applicable only to Member States and does not have direct application to the EU Institutions.
The EU institutions have started using e-ID: in just one year – we have nearly 1000 electronic transactions on our internal market information system. Nearly 30,000 electronic signatures for the Official Journal, giving legal effect to EU laws. Under Horizon 2020, we manage funding grants only electronically. ECAS, the Commission's e-identification and authentication system, has over 1.5 million users.
However, many European Commission processes and procedures are still done on paper. That's costly and cumbersome – both for those trying to interact with us, citizens and businesses; and for our own internal procedures.
Vice President Neelie Kroes today calls on President-elect Juncker to "practise what we preach" and ensure that the Commission goes truly digital. In a letter to the President-elect, she will say:
"I believe that the European Union should modernise and turn all public administrations digital. And I believe that the Commission should lead by example and become paperless both in-house, and when interacting with the public.
So my question to you is: will you accept this challenge to make the European Commission truly digital by using e-invoices, e-procurement and e-signatures under your Presidency – and call for the other EU institutions to do the same?"
Neelie Kroes' website
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