The first electronic signing of an EU legislative act took place on Wednesday 25 October in European Parliament in Strasbourg.
President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani and Estonian Deputy Minister for EU Affairs Matti Maasikas, of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, electronically signed the legally-binding texts of the revised regulation on 'security of gas supply' paving the way for its entry into force.
This ceremony marks the first public step at the EU level in the e-signing process. It shows that EU institutions are working together to make digital transformation a reality and to offer efficient and secure digital solutions in the public sphere.
It demonstrates the EU's commitment to implementing eIDAS, the EU-wide regulation that provides for a predictable regulatory environment to enable secure and seamless electronic interactions between businesses, citizens and public authorities.
“I am happy that today we can sign such an important regulation electronically. Estonia is at the forefront of the digitalisation process. We should use the momentum of the Estonian Presidency to promote more digital solutions. The European Parliament in its report on e-government in May this year asked the EU institutions to set an example in the area of e-government. Today we are acting on our own call. This signature is a demonstration on how digital solutions can work in practice,” said EP President Tajani.
"I am convinced that this is the way we will soon sign all our legal acts, simply because it makes sense. E-signatures save paper, time and money," said Deputy Minister Maasikas.
The Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the General Secretariat of the Council and the European Parliament worked together to prepare the pilot solution for the electronic signature of this legislative act. Parliament and the Council Secretariat will continue work on developing the process. In Europe, a qualified e-signature has the same legal validity as a handwritten signature in conducting business, executing procedures or expressing a commitment.
A video of the Signing ceremony on 'Security of gas supply' is available, with EP President Antonio Tajani, Matti Maasikas, and rapporteur Jerzy Buzek.