On 3 April 2014 the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS) has been approved by the European Parliament.
Main principles of the Regulation are reported below (see also THIS POST).
One of the objectives of the Regulation is to remove existing barriers to the cross-border use of electronic identification means used in the Member States.
The principle of mutual recognition should apply if the notifying Member State’s electronic identification scheme meets the conditions of notification and the notification was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The Regulation reaffirms the principle that an electronic signature should not be denied legal effect on the grounds that it is in an electronic form or that it does not meet the requirements of the qualified electronic signature. However, it is for the national law to define the legal effect of electronic signatures, except for the requirement provided in the Regulation according to which a qualified electronic signature should have the equivalent legal effect of a handwritten signature.
The Regulation lays down conditions under which Member States shall recognise electronic identification means of natural and legal persons falling under a notified electronic identification scheme of another Member State, lays down rules for electronic trust services, in particular for electronic transactions and establishes a legal framework for electronic signatures, electronic seals, electronic time stamps, electronic documents, electronic registered delivery services and certificates services for website authentication.
The Regulation shall apply from 1 July 2016 and the Directive 1999/93/EC on electronic signatures is repealed with effect from 1 July 2016.