A milestone towards establishing eID and trust services in Europe

Source: A. (Andrus) AnsipĀ i, published on Monday, February 20 2017.

Reinforcing trust and confidence in the online world is a fundamental part of the EU's strategy to build a Digital Single Market (DSM) in Europe.

So is helping companies - anyone, in fact - who wants to use online services.

This is one of the major building blocks for achieving trusted cross-border digital transactions, in both the private and public sectors.

It is the aim of eIDAS, the EU regulation providing a stable legal environment beyond an EU country's borders for electronic identification and trust services that can be applied across Europe.

Today, Germany took a big step forward in this area. It became the first EU country to pre-notify the European Commission of the online ID function of its national identity card and electronic residence permit.

While that may sound somewhat bureaucratic, it is actually very significant.

The idea of eIDAS is not to align national eID systems around the EU's member countries. It is to enable their mutual recognition.

Today's move represents the first step towards moving Europe from a patchwork of national online markets to an integrated DSM - where commercial and public services can flow easily and seamlessly across borders.

I now hope that other countries will follow Germany's encouraging example.

Procedurally, this pre-notification will be followed by actual notification - and then, following the eIDAS timetable, all other EU countries must recognise the notified eID scheme for public services.

And, the sooner that they do this, the quicker it will help Europeans - people and companies as well as the public sector - to access and use online services conveniently, reliably and responsibly, everywhere in Europe. You can read more about e-identification here.

Another blog soon.