On 23 July 2014, the Council of the European Union adopted a Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (the "Regulation"). The Regulation repeals the E-Signature Directive 1999/93/EC on Community framework for electronic signatures adopted in December 1992.
The Regulation intends to create an efficient and effective e-signature market in the EU to overcome the current differences in national laws and the lack of interoperability of e-signatures. The Regulation also lays down conditions for mutual recognition of electronic identification, sets rules for trust services, in particular for electronic transactions, and creates a legal framework for electronic registered delivery services and certificate services for website authentication.
This new framework is an important step towards the enhancement of a trustworthy online environment. Most of the provisions of the Regulation will only enter into force on 1 July 2016.