The Proposal Regulation by the European Parliament and the Council of electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions on the domestic market has recently been published and has begun its Parliamentary procedure.
Here is an outline of the main innovations provided for by the Proposal.
The most important innovation is the legal instrument chosen, which is no longer a directive, but a regulation. This is to ensure the uniformity of the new regulation: it provides for a single EU “law” instead of 27 “ national laws”.
It is a fact that complexity and juridical uncertainty generate a cost which Europe must eliminate in order to present itself as a single market.
The same choice has been made for the recent proposal on the General Data Protection Regulation.
Thus, the aim is to create a genuine single market for digital services, removing the obstacles created by different national laws.
The main aim of the new proposal is to achieve legal and technical interoperability among the EU countries regarding questions of e-identification, e-authentication and e-signature.
Once again to encourage the development of the domestic market in the field of digital services.
1. Member States have the right to notify the European Commission of individual national electronic identification schemes. Once notification has been given and has been included on the list published by the Commission, it must be accepted by the other Member States (e.g. in public procurements).
2. The e-seal which constitutes a legal person’s signature has been introduced and must be considered as distinct from the e-signature which constitutes a natural person’s signature.
Therefore a company will be able to use an e-seal without the signature of the legal representative in order to guarantee the origin and integrity of e-documents.
3. The obligation to store information concerning e-identification and qualified e-signatures has been introduced.
4. Extensive reference to technical standards.
5. Explicit recognition of the e-signature on remote servers and on mobiles.
The non-discrimination principle of documents with e-signatures on the sole ground that they are in an electronic form has been reaffirmed.
The equivalence between qualified electronic signatures and handwritten signatures has been reaffirmed.
Voluntary agreements under private law (such as those between banks and their clients) are not subject to the provisions of the regulation.