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Electronic identification (eID) for the Digital Single Market

In support of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market (DSM) initiative, the eIDAS (electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services) regulation aims to facilitate the smooth flow of commerce in the EU through harmonisation of law, transparency, security, technical neutrality, cooperation and interoperability.

eIDAS, which began to take effect in 2016, includes a clear definition on the use of electronic identification. From a strictly legal standpoint, the eIDAS regulation ensures cross-border access to public services: people and organisations within one EU Member State shall be able to use their own eID means to access public services in other EU Member States.

Two key points to note:

  • eIDAS doesn’t mandate the use of eID, but rather enables and protects its use.  
  • By providing an EU-wide legal framework, the regulation has major implications for the use of eID in the private sector as well. 

Public and private sectors benefit

“The section of the eIDAS Regulation concerning electronic identification establishes a predictable regulatory environment to enable secure and seamless electronic interactions between businesses, citizens and public authorities.” (Trends in electronic identification)

Facilitating private sector commerce in the digital age is major goal of the eIDAS regulation. In support of this aim, the European Commission offers online resources promoting the benefits of eID and trust services for businesses, including a guide on how to go about adopting these tools in their operations. (Discover eIDAS)


To learn more about eID in the EU, visit the Scrive Trust Center.