The State of Digital Signature in Europe

Since the introduction of the European regulation EU 910/2014, it is a revolution given the repercussions it can have that for the first digital single market in Europe. Given the central role played by electronic signatures within this framework, we wanted to dedicate this post to the current situation of the digital signature in Europe.

As was already mentioned above, we are in a situation of change, because it is just a few months ago after the introduction of the EU 910/2014. We are excited about all the opportunities presented by the Digital Single Market for all European citizens.

It is important that one of the protagonists of this reform will be SMEs, which as we all know, are the real engine of the European economy.

The EU-28 is based on a business sector dominated by micro: 9 out of 10 companies have fewer than 10 employees (Eurostat, 2015). It is for this reason that the EU has developed a set of strategies to increase competitiveness and promote new technologies, as you can see in the strategic guidelines of Europe 2020.

Thus, companies have been in a dynamic in which adaptation to new technologies has been partly imposed by the changes in the interactions with public entities or new requirements for billing.  Gradually, the increased use of electronic media has made the use of electronic signatures is more common in enterprises.

Currently the regulations concerning electronic signatures are different in each of the member states. However, thanks to the EU regulations 910/2014 of the European Commission on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions, from 2016, they are unified, so that it contributes, as mentioned above, to create a digital intern market; Digital Single Market.

The law also regulates and promotes the electronic signature in the cloud, improving the usability of it, according to the new needs of the citizens. Who increasingly need solutions that can easily be used on mobile devices and tablets.

Trust services, including electronic signatures, are currently expanding as a result of the European strategy for Horizon 2020 and the regulations of the European member states. In fact, it is one of the pillars of the Digital Agenda of the European Union (E-Government Report, 2015).

Confidence in e-Government

To measure the state of the electronic signature, one of the best barometers is to use the level of trust that citizens have in e-Government.

More and more European citizens are using e-Government to do their transactions and assuming greater use of digital certificates. And, according to statistics from Eurostat, 47% of Europeans use the e-Government.

Despite these figures and the degree of trust in e-Government increases by citizens, much remains to be done. Only 57% of services are available telematics, and only 27% of administrations have platforms and telecommunication systems adapted to mobile devices.

However, the level of satisfaction of citizens with regard to official portals has grown. Despite the barriers as discussed above, the use of electronic signatures spans Europe apace. eIDAS measures such as regulations and other confidence will increase, because it will be much easier and convenient for citizens to use the same certificate in the 28 member countries.

Because of this, the role of the electronic signature is crucial for the proper development of e-Government. And thanks to funding programs that have been developed from the 2020 guidelines, specialists in ICT can move forward in the development of projects to achieve the objectives set in Horizon 2020. This is just the beginning. See you soon.

 

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