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The Industry and Telecoms Committee today confirmed a deal reached with the Greek presidency on easier electronic deals and cross border electronic identification. "This will make it easier for people who need to deal with authorities in another EU country. It could be applying for a course at a foreign university, planning a wedding or filing tax returns", said Marita Ulvskog (S&D, SE), who led Parliament's work on the draft law. The draft law still needs to be endorsed by the full Parliament.

“We also expect a boost in online business, now that there will be an improved system for companies and their clients to know that the documents they receive on line are legally valid. I am glad that we managed to convince the Council to bring forward the date when the rules will enter into force. Another important victory for us was to make sure that also local and regional – not only national – authorities would need to recognise e-IDs from another EU country”, Marita Ulvskog added.

Recognition of other's electronic identification systems

Companies, citizens and public authorities wanting to strike cross-border deals will have access to easy and trustworthy ways to sign and certify documents, with the draft law approved by the Industry committee. The draft law requires EU member states to recognise each other's electronic identification systems.

Member states can start joining the system for mutual recognition of national systems of e-identification on 1 July 2015, the last day to join will be 1 July 2018.

Easier and safer identification processes

The regulation aims to make it easier and safer for parties in different EU countries to identify themselves, sign documents and check the authenticity of online documents. This is the first EU law to require EU member states to recognise and accept electronic identifications issued in other member states.

The proposal requires member states to mutually recognise each other's national electronic identification systems, provided that these systems have been reported to the European Commission. Existing national systems do not have to change, but need to follow certain rules, for instance regarding security levels, in order to participate in the agreed EU framework.

The vote in the committee today confirmed the deal with 46 votes for, 5 against and 0 abstentions.

Next steps

To enter into force, the deal needs to be formally endorsed by Parliament and Council. In Parliament, the next step is a vote in Plenary on April 3rd.