eIDAS in Brief
eIDAS (electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services) is an EU Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions that applies as law within the whole of the EU.
In support of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market (DSM) initiative, eIDAS aims to facilitate the smooth flow of commerce in the EU through harmonisation of law, transparency, security, technical neutrality, cooperation and interoperability.
In pursuit of these values, eIDAS:
- Standardises the use of electronic identification (eID)
- Defines a new class of “electronic trust services” (eTS)
- Clarifies and ensures the legal validity of electronic signatures
- Creates a European internal market within the EU for electronic trust services
These standards apply across borders as well as within individual Member States.
eIDAS, which began to take effect in 2016, repeals and replaces the Electronic Signatures Directive 1999/93/EC. eIDAS addresses the shortcomings of the 1999 Directive and expands its scope in a number of important ways, including a clear definition on the use of electronic identification. A Regulation (like eIDAS) is a legal act of the EU that becomes immediately enforceable as law in all Member States simultaneously. Regulations can be distinguished from Directives which, at least in principle, need to be transposed into national law. In 1972, the European Parliament passed the European Communities Act. Since then, in the event of a conflict between national law and EU law, the national courts must give priority to EU law.