European Union has just announced a “political agreement” between Member States on new regulation related to electronic identification and trust services called eIDAS, that is going to upgrade the old electronic signature directive 1999/93/EC. Citing EU press release:
On 4 June 2012, the European Commission proposed a draft Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (see IP/12/558 and MEMO/12/403) The Regulation is due to be formally endorsed by the European Parliament in the April plenary session and by the Council of Ministers in June. It will come into force on 1st July 2014 and will be directly applicable cross the EU from that date. The economic effect will be immediate, overcoming problems of fragmented national legal regimes and cutting red tape and unnecessary costs. Foster the interoperability of eID usage and trust services' interoperability. The existing EU legislation on eSignatures has been strengthened and extended to cover the full set of electronic identification and trust services and make it more fit for the digital single market. This will have a huge impact on the legal validity and interoperability of national and cross-border electronic transactions.