BETA


1998/0191(COD) Electronic communication, open networks safety: electronic signatures, common regulatory framework

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead JURI LECHNER Kurt (icon: PPE-DE PPE-DE)
Former Responsible Committee JURI ULLMANN Wolfgang (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE)
Former Committee Opinion ECON TAPPIN Michael (icon: PES PES)
Former Committee Opinion LIBE
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
EC Treaty (after Amsterdam) EC 047-p2, EC Treaty (after Amsterdam) EC 055, EC Treaty (after Amsterdam) EC 095, RoP 050

Events

2006/03/15
   EC - Follow-up document
Details

The Commission has prepared this report in order to assess and analyse the operation of the 1999 Directive on electronic signatures (Directive 1999/93/EC). To recall, the main objective of the Directive was the creation of a Community framework for the use of electronic signatures, allowing for the free flow of electronic signature products and services of a cross border nature and to ensure a basic legal recognition of signatures. The reason behind the adoption of the Directive was to avoid the creation of differing national legislation with differing requirements which could put the effective establishment of an internal market for electronic signatures at risk. Various types of electronic signatures are enshrined in the Directive and include a simplified “electronic signature” (based on pin-code technology), an advanced electronic signature (based on a PKI or public key infrastructure technology) and a third signature often referred to a “qualified electronic signature”.

Regarding the electronic signature’s effect on the internal market the report notes that the up-take of electronic signatures has been slower than originally expected although the use of e-banking is on the increase across the EU. According to this report, there is no simple answer as to why the market for electronic signatures has not developed faster. There are, however, a number of technical challenges associated with electronic signatures that could be the root cause for such a slow up-take. PKI technology, for example, is notoriously complex. The lack of technical interoperability at national and at a cross-border level causes further obstacle for the market acceptance of e-signatures. The resulting effect has been the creation of many isolated islands of e-signature applications, where certificates can only be used for one single application. Today, in the PKI environment, the smart card is the most widely used signature creation device because it provides a means to store the private key securely.

Although the use of e-signatures is not as widely used as had been anticipated the Commission, nevertheless, notes that a legislative framework for e-signatures offers a number of opportunities in other regulatory environments. Thus, even if the demand for the deployment of PKI is something that cannot be created by legislation, the Commission still considers the introduction of electronic signatures an important tool for the development of other information society services. This is particularly the case for the new Public Procurement Directives, where the use of e-signatures is central to the operational use of e-procurement systems across the EU.

To conclude, the Directive has succeeded in introducing legal clarity and certainty with respect to the general admissibility of electronic signatures. Against this background the Commission considers that the objectives of the Directive have been largely fulfilled and that there is no clear need for its revision. As far as the internal market is concerned the uptake and use of e-signatures has been much slower than was previously expected. Users still do not have a single electronic certificate to sign documents or transactions with in the digital environment in the same way that they currently do with paper. As a result it is difficult for the Commission to assess, at this stage, what effect the free circulation of electronic signatures has had on the internal market. There are, however, a number of applications which may, in future, trigger a market growth. The use of e-signatures in e-government services being one. The need for secure electronic means of identification to access and use public services is essential for EU citizens which will undoubtedly promote the use of electronic signatures.

Bearing the above in mind, the Commission will continue to encourage the development of e-signature services and applications and will continue to monitor the e-signature market. Particular emphasis will be given to the interoperability and cross-border use of electronic signatures. The Commission will encourage further standardisation work in order to promote the interoperability and use of all kinds of technologies for qualified electronic signature in the internal market. In 2006 it will prepare a report on standards for electronic signatures.

2003/07/14
   EU - Implementing legislative act
2000/01/19
   Final act published in Official Journal
1999/12/13
   CSL - Final act signed
1999/12/13
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
1999/11/30
   CSL - Act approved by Council, 2nd reading
1999/11/30
   CSL - Council Meeting
1999/11/26
   EC - Commission opinion on Parliament's position at 2nd reading
1999/10/28
   CSL - Debate in Council
Documents
1999/10/28
   CSL - Council Meeting
1999/10/27
   EP - Text adopted by Parliament, 2nd reading
1999/10/27
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 2nd reading
Documents
1999/10/25
   EP - Debate in Parliament
1999/10/12
   EP - Committee recommendation tabled for plenary, 2nd reading
1999/10/12
   EP - Vote in committee, 2nd reading
1999/10/12
   EP - Committee recommendation tabled for plenary, 2nd reading
Documents
1999/10/06
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
1999/09/20
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
1999/09/17
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
1999/07/28
   EP - LECHNER Kurt (PPE-DE) appointed as rapporteur in JURI
1999/07/23
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 2nd reading
1999/07/16
   EC - Commission communication on Council's position
1999/06/28
   CSL - Council position
1999/06/28
   CSL - Council position published
Documents
1999/06/28
   CSL - Council Meeting
1999/04/29
   EC - Modified legislative proposal published
1999/04/22
   CSL - Council Meeting
1999/03/12
   CSL - Debate in Council
Documents
1999/03/12
   CSL - Council Meeting
1999/01/14
   CofR - Committee of the Regions: opinion
1999/01/13
   EP - Text adopted by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
1999/01/13
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Documents
1999/01/12
   EP - Debate in Parliament
1998/12/07
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading
1998/12/07
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
1998/12/07
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading
Documents
1998/12/02
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
1998/12/02
   ESC - Economic and Social Committee: opinion, report
1998/11/27
   CSL - Debate in Council
Documents
1998/11/27
   CSL - Council Meeting
1998/11/17
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
1998/10/22
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
1998/09/03
   EP - TAPPIN Michael (PES) appointed as rapporteur in ECON
1998/07/22
   EP - ULLMANN Wolfgang (Verts/ALE) appointed as rapporteur in JURI
1998/07/01
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
1998/05/19
   CSL - Debate in Council
Documents
1998/05/19
   CSL - Council Meeting
1998/05/13
   EC - Legislative proposal
1998/05/13
   EC - Legislative proposal published

Documents

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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    • date: 1999-01-13T00:00:00 docs: url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:C:1999:104:SOM:EN:HTML title: OJ C 104 14.04.1999, p. 0036-0056 title: T4-0009/1999 summary: type: Text adopted by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
    • date: 1999-01-14T00:00:00 docs: url: https://dm.cor.europa.eu/CORDocumentSearch/Pages/redresults.aspx?k=(documenttype:AC)(documentnumber:0332)(documentyear:1998)(documentlanguage:EN) title: CDR0332/1998 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:C:1999:093:TOC title: OJ C 093 06.04.1999, p. 0033 type: Committee of the Regions: opinion body: CofR
    • date: 1999-06-28T00:00:00 docs: url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=ADV&RESULTSET=1&DOC_ID=7634%2F99&DOC_LANCD=EN&ROWSPP=25&NRROWS=500&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC title: 07634/1/1999 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:C:1999:243:SOM:EN:HTML title: OJ C 243 27.08.1999, p. 0033 summary: type: Council position body: CSL
    • date: 1999-07-16T00:00:00 docs: url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=SECfinal&an_doc=1999&nu_doc=1154 title: EUR-Lex title: SEC(1999)1154 summary: type: Commission communication on Council's position body: EC
    • date: 1999-09-17T00:00:00 docs: title: PE231.435 type: Committee draft report body: EP
    • date: 1999-09-20T00:00:00 docs: title: PE228.556/DEF committee: LIBE type: Committee opinion body: EP
    • date: 1999-10-06T00:00:00 docs: title: PE231.435/AM type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
    • date: 1999-10-12T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A5-1999-34&language=EN title: A5-0034/1999 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:C:2000:154:TOC title: OJ C 154 05.06.2000, p. 0007 type: Committee recommendation tabled for plenary, 2nd reading body: EP
    • date: 1999-10-27T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P5-TA-1999-69 title: T5-0069/1999 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:C:2000:154:TOC title: OJ C 154 05.06.2000, p. 0024-0051 summary: type: Text adopted by Parliament, 2nd reading body: EP
    • date: 1999-11-26T00:00:00 docs: url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=1999&nu_doc=626 title: EUR-Lex title: COM(1999)0626 summary: type: Commission opinion on Parliament's position at 2nd reading body: EC
    • date: 2003-07-14T00:00:00 docs: url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=32003D0511 title: 32003D0511 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOHtml.do?uri=OJ:L:2003:175:SOM:EN:HTML title: OJ L 175 15.07.2003, p. 0045-0046 summary: type: Implementing legislative act body: EU
    • date: 2006-03-15T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2006/0120/COM_COM(2006)0120_EN.pdf title: COM(2006)0120 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2006&nu_doc=120 title: EUR-Lex summary: The Commission has prepared this report in order to assess and analyse the operation of the 1999 Directive on electronic signatures (Directive 1999/93/EC). To recall, the main objective of the Directive was the creation of a Community framework for the use of electronic signatures, allowing for the free flow of electronic signature products and services of a cross border nature and to ensure a basic legal recognition of signatures. The reason behind the adoption of the Directive was to avoid the creation of differing national legislation with differing requirements which could put the effective establishment of an internal market for electronic signatures at risk. Various types of electronic signatures are enshrined in the Directive and include a simplified “electronic signature” (based on pin-code technology), an advanced electronic signature (based on a PKI or public key infrastructure technology) and a third signature often referred to a “qualified electronic signature”. Regarding the electronic signature’s effect on the internal market the report notes that the up-take of electronic signatures has been slower than originally expected although the use of e-banking is on the increase across the EU. According to this report, there is no simple answer as to why the market for electronic signatures has not developed faster. There are, however, a number of technical challenges associated with electronic signatures that could be the root cause for such a slow up-take. PKI technology, for example, is notoriously complex. The lack of technical interoperability at national and at a cross-border level causes further obstacle for the market acceptance of e-signatures. The resulting effect has been the creation of many isolated islands of e-signature applications, where certificates can only be used for one single application. Today, in the PKI environment, the smart card is the most widely used signature creation device because it provides a means to store the private key securely. Although the use of e-signatures is not as widely used as had been anticipated the Commission, nevertheless, notes that a legislative framework for e-signatures offers a number of opportunities in other regulatory environments. Thus, even if the demand for the deployment of PKI is something that cannot be created by legislation, the Commission still considers the introduction of electronic signatures an important tool for the development of other information society services. This is particularly the case for the new Public Procurement Directives, where the use of e-signatures is central to the operational use of e-procurement systems across the EU. To conclude, the Directive has succeeded in introducing legal clarity and certainty with respect to the general admissibility of electronic signatures. Against this background the Commission considers that the objectives of the Directive have been largely fulfilled and that there is no clear need for its revision. As far as the internal market is concerned the uptake and use of e-signatures has been much slower than was previously expected. Users still do not have a single electronic certificate to sign documents or transactions with in the digital environment in the same way that they currently do with paper. As a result it is difficult for the Commission to assess, at this stage, what effect the free circulation of electronic signatures has had on the internal market. There are, however, a number of applications which may, in future, trigger a market growth. The use of e-signatures in e-government services being one. The need for secure electronic means of identification to access and use public services is essential for EU citizens which will undoubtedly promote the use of electronic signatures. Bearing the above in mind, the Commission will continue to encourage the development of e-signature services and applications and will continue to monitor the e-signature market. Particular emphasis will be given to the interoperability and cross-border use of electronic signatures. The Commission will encourage further standardisation work in order to promote the interoperability and use of all kinds of technologies for qualified electronic signature in the internal market. In 2006 it will prepare a report on standards for electronic signatures. type: Follow-up document body: EC
    events
    • date: 1998-05-13T00:00:00 type: Legislative proposal published body: EC docs: url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=1998&nu_doc=297 title: EUR-Lex title: COM(1998)0297 summary:
    • date: 1998-05-19T00:00:00 type: Debate in Council body: CSL docs: url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=2096*&MEET_DATE=19/05/1998 title: 2096
    • date: 1998-07-01T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
    • date: 1998-11-27T00:00:00 type: Debate in Council body: CSL docs: url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=2140*&MEET_DATE=27/11/1998 title: 2140
    • date: 1998-12-07T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP summary:
    • date: 1998-12-07T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A4-1998-507&language=EN title: A4-0507/1998
    • date: 1999-01-12T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=19990112&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
    • date: 1999-01-13T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: title: T4-0009/1999 summary:
    • date: 1999-03-12T00:00:00 type: Debate in Council body: CSL docs: url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=2166*&MEET_DATE=12/03/1999 title: 2166
    • date: 1999-04-29T00:00:00 type: Modified legislative proposal published body: EC docs: url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=1999&nu_doc=195 title: EUR-Lex title: COM(1999)0195 summary:
    • date: 1999-06-28T00:00:00 type: Council position published body: CSL docs: url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=ADV&RESULTSET=1&DOC_ID=7634%2F99&DOC_LANCD=EN&ROWSPP=25&NRROWS=500&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC title: 07634/1/1999 summary:
    • date: 1999-07-23T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 2nd reading body: EP
    • date: 1999-10-12T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 2nd reading body: EP summary:
    • date: 1999-10-12T00:00:00 type: Committee recommendation tabled for plenary, 2nd reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A5-1999-34&language=EN title: A5-0034/1999
    • date: 1999-10-25T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=19991025&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
    • date: 1999-10-27T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 2nd reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P5-TA-1999-69 title: T5-0069/1999 summary:
    • date: 1999-10-28T00:00:00 type: Debate in Council body: CSL docs: url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=SMPL&ROWSPP=25&RESULTSET=1&NRROWS=500&DOC_LANCD=EN&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC&CONTENTS=2210*&MEET_DATE=28/10/1999 title: 2210
    • date: 1999-11-30T00:00:00 type: Act approved by Council, 2nd reading body: CSL
    • date: 1999-12-13T00:00:00 type: Final act signed body: CSL
    • date: 1999-12-13T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
    • date: 2000-01-19T00:00:00 type: Final act published in Official Journal docs: title: Directive 1999/93 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=31999L0093 title: OJ L 013 19.01.2000, p. 0012 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:L:2000:013:TOC
    other
    • body: CSL type: Council Meeting council: Former Council configuration
    procedure/dossier_of_the_committee
    Old
    JURI/4/11063
    New
    • JURI/4/11063
    procedure/final/url
    Old
    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=31999L0093
    New
    https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=31999L0093
    procedure/instrument
    Old
    Directive
    New
    • Directive
    • Repealed by 2012/0146(COD)
    procedure/legal_basis/3
    Rules of Procedure EP 050
    procedure/legal_basis/3
    Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 050
    procedure/subject
    Old
    • 3.30.05 Electronic and mobile communications, personal communications
    New
    3.30.05
    Electronic and mobile communications, personal communications
    procedure/summary
    • Repealed by
    links/European Commission/title
    Old
    PreLex
    New
    EUR-Lex
    activities
    • date: 1998-05-13T00:00:00 docs: url: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=1998&nu_doc=297 celexid: CELEX:51998PC0297:EN type: Legislative proposal published title: COM(1998)0297 type: Legislative proposal published body: EC commission:
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    • date: 1999-04-22T00:00:00 body: CSL type: Council Meeting council: Telecommunications meeting_id: 2172
    • date: 1999-04-29T00:00:00 docs: url: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=1999&nu_doc=195 celexid: CELEX:51999PC0195:EN type: Modified legislative proposal published title: COM(1999)0195 type: Modified legislative proposal published body: EC commission:
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    • date: 1999-07-23T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 2nd reading committees: body: EP responsible: True committee: JURI date: 1999-07-28T00:00:00 committee_full: Legal Affairs and Internal Market rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: LECHNER Kurt body: EP responsible: True committee: JURI date: 1998-07-22T00:00:00 committee_full: Legal Affairs, Citizens' Rights rapporteur: group: V name: ULLMANN Wolfgang
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    • date: 1999-10-25T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=19991025&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
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    • date: 1999-11-30T00:00:00 body: CSL type: Council Meeting council: Telecommunications meeting_id: 2228
    • date: 1999-12-13T00:00:00 body: CSL type: Final act signed
    • date: 1999-12-13T00:00:00 body: EP type: End of procedure in Parliament
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    committees
    • body: EP responsible: False committee: ECON date: 1998-09-03T00:00:00 committee_full: Economic and Monetary Affairs, Industrial Policy rapporteur: group: PSE name: TAPPIN Michael
    • body: EP responsible: True committee: JURI date: 1999-07-28T00:00:00 committee_full: Legal Affairs and Internal Market rapporteur: group: PPE-DE name: LECHNER Kurt
    • body: EP responsible: True committee: JURI date: 1998-07-22T00:00:00 committee_full: Legal Affairs, Citizens' Rights rapporteur: group: V name: ULLMANN Wolfgang
    • body: EP responsible: False committee_full: Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs committee: LIBE
    links
    European Commission
    other
    • body: CSL type: Council Meeting council: Former Council configuration
    procedure
    dossier_of_the_committee
    JURI/4/11063
    reference
    1998/0191(COD)
    instrument
    Directive
    legal_basis
    stage_reached
    Procedure completed
    summary
    Repealed by
    subtype
    Legislation
    title
    Electronic communication, open networks safety: electronic signatures, common regulatory framework
    type
    COD - Ordinary legislative procedure (ex-codecision procedure)
    final
    subject
    3.30.05 Electronic and mobile communications, personal communications