EU e-signature plan to make electronic deals safer and easier 

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Companies, citizens and public authorities wanting to strike cross-border deals should have access to easy and trustworthy ways to sign and certify documents, said Parliament's Industry Committee on Monday. To this end, it endorsed a draft EU law that would require EU member states to recognise each other's electronic identification systems.

"If we strike the right balance, this law will stimulate the digital economy and help create jobs while also enhancing the trustworthiness and security of cross-border trade", said Marita Ulvskog (S&D, SE), who leads Parliament's work on the draft law. ”It will also make it easier for citizens to deal with public authorities when working or studying abroad. An electronic ID should be accepted across Europe, just like a passport or national ID card" she added.
"The proposed 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 would be the first EU law to require EU member states to recognise and accept electronic identifications issued in other member states.
The proposal would require 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 would not have to change, but would be classified according to their level of security.

Next steps

The committee gave Ms Ulvskog a mandate to start negotiations with the Council, aiming at a first reading agreement. Once the Council has adopted its position for these negotiations (expected in November), the talks can start.

In the chair: Jens Rohde (ALDE, DK)

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