The European Commission has proposed new rules to enable cross-border and secure electronic transactions in Europe.
The proposed Regulation is intended to ensure that people and businesses can use their own national electronic identification schemes (e-IDs) to access public services in other EU countries where e-IDs are available. The hope is that it will also create an internal market for e-Signatures and related online trust services across borders, by ensuring these services will work across borders and have the same legal status as traditional paper based processes. This should give full effect to the major potential savings of eProcurement.
The proposal is intended to respect fully both existing national ID systems and the preferences of those Member States without national ID schemes. It allows countries with e-ID to opt-in or to remain outside of the European scheme. Once a Member State notifies that they wish to join the pan-European scheme, they must offer the same access to public services via e-ID that they offer to their own citizens.
"People and businesses should be able to transact within a borderless Digital Single Market, that is the value of Internet. Legal certainty and trust is also essential, so a more comprehensive eSignatures and eIdentification Regulation is needed," said European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes. "This proposal will mean you can make the most of your e-ID, if you have one. With mutual recognition of national e-IDs and common standards for trust services and eSignatures, we can prevent a national carve-up of the Internet and online public services and make life easier for millions of businesses and even more citizens. "
The proposed Regulation will not:
* oblige EU Member States to introduce, or individuals to obtain, national identity cards, electronic identity cards or other e-ID solutions,
* introduce a European e-ID or any kind of European database, or
* enable or require the sharing of personal information with other parties.