On June 30th, we participated in the last event related to the new Regulation 910/2014, organized by the European Commission. Held just before July 1 2016, the date to apply this new regulation known as eIDAS, which concerns electronic identification and trust services.
Andrus Ansip, VP of the European Commission and responsible for the Digital Single Market, kicked the session off. As he responded to Paul Hofheinz´s questions, President of the think tank The Lisbon Council, Ansip explained his experience facing the key initiatives of the project and shared his knowledge on the topic. As the previous minister of Estonia, a pioneering country in the development and implementation of the electronic signature, Asnip provides a special expertise to this matter.
From his point of view, the eIDAS Regulation and the trust services that it promotes are key to achieve a common digital market: with the new regulation mutual recognition is no longer an option, but an obligation for the member states.
This post is also available in Spanish.
As the VP of the European Commission explained, in order to promote the use of electronic ID cards in Estonia, they established it as mandatory. The results: it went from taking 6 years to have the first million operations, to making more than 1.2 million operations a week with the electronic ID cards. This experience suggests that the EU should promote the use of the services that the eIDAS Regulation offers in order to achieve the digitization goals of the EU. While their 2015 target was not reached, the Commission will continue working to achieve more tangible results by 2018.
Public sector initiatives
Following the interesting talk and interview with Andrus Ansip, the morning continued with a session called Digital Single Market: what is in there for you?. Moderated by Paul Timmers, the Director of DG Connect, it began with Eurodeputy Kaja Kallas explaining all the possibilities offered by this common digital market for all European citizens and businesses, and the barriers we still must face to achieve it. One of the biggest is the fear and lack of trust towards digital processes (cyberphobia) by many citizens and consumers--despite the objective viewpoint that these digital processes are much safer and more reliable than traditional methods.
Another one of the most interesting sessions was the talk Digital Single Market: from eGovernment to Digital Government given by Gertrud Ingestad, General Director of DIGIT. Ingestad shared the next goals of the EU in the eGovernment field:
- Internally, they are working to have a 100% digital administration in the European Commission.
- Externally, they will provide the infrastructures and the interoperability needed to facilitate this single digital market and to provide citizens with all government services digitally.
The point of view from the private sector
Andrea Servida, responsible for the eIDAS Task Force, moderated the session on the opportunities and threats of digitization - Current and future outlook for digitisation: what are the opportunities? What are the challenges? - made up of representatives from the different sectors that can benefit from this new common framework for electronic signatures, such as the banking sector. The session included the participation of the European Banking Federation, BNP Paribas and Lease Europe, the European Federation of leasing companies.
Continuing on, Sinéad O’Connor, Director of Customer Experience in Banco Santander, spoke of the digitization of the banking sector, in which she stressed the importance of meeting the expectations of the new digital consumers. Currently, most consumers want to interact with financial services companies through digital channels, and especially from their smartphones, a device where it is vital to offer a totally transparent user experience.
This event and the application of the Regulation 910/2014 last Friday July 1st has been a culmination, although not a final point, of a project that began 4 years ago when the eIDAS team began to prepare the groundwork for this new legislation.
A key element of this new regulation is the imposition of mutual recognition of identification systems in European Union member states, and the need for a full interoperability of services. This will make it possible to adopt common solutions and technologies - such as our advanced electronic signature platform - for the whole EU.
Now that it has been launched, the eIDAS Observatory has been established for the different stakeholders to contribute with their feedback and suggestions to improve the adoption of these solutions and related technologies: the electronic signature, digital certification and digital identification.
From Signaturit, we will continue working on promoting these services along with our electronic signature solution, with which we provide a maximum usability and legal validity to improve and strengthen trust in digital relationships between people and companies.
This post is also available in Spanish.