eIDAS Regulation launching event - 14 October 2014

14 October 2014

The European Commission, in partnership with Eurosmart, ACSIEL, DTCE, and GSMA organised the eIDAS Regulation launching event in Brussels on October 14th. This high-level event gathered the EU institutions and industry leaders in the electronic identification and trust services domain.


Following the recent entry into force of the eIDAS Regulation, Eurosmart co-organized with the European Commission and other sectoral associations* the eIDAS launching event on October 14th 2014. The conference gathered high-level speakers including: Ms Neelie Kroes, Vice-president and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda for Europe, Mr Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of the Republic of Estonia, Ms Marita Ulvskog, Member of the European Parliament and rapporteur for eIDAS, Mr Antonello Giacomelli, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Economic Development, Italy and EU Council Presidency.

In her opening speech, Neelie Kroes pointed out the need for the EU to make the EU digital: "any transaction you do offline, should also be possible online. With just as much security". She called the industry to innovate in order to make the EU the world's safest, securest, easiest place to transact online.

The President of Estonia insisted on examples from his country, well-known as an eCountry. As digital identity is widely used in Estonia, he called the EU to make it happen across the entire digital single market. He underlined that the EU needs to foster a secure online identity, and that data exchange programme is needed to make services across countries.

Mr Tommi Nordberg, CEO of Gematlo Finland, Senior Vice President Government Programs at Gemalto, represented Eurosmart. In his keynote speech, he presented on behalf of Eurosmart and ACSIEL the view of the smart security industry with regard to the eIDAS regulation. He pointed out that the eIDAS token specification will contribute to meet the regulatory requirements of the eIDAS regulation, namely mutual recognition, interoperability, privacy, security by design and user consent.

MEP Marita Ulvskog, the eIDAS Rapporteur during the legislation process and Mr Giacomelli, Italian Undersecretary for Telecommunications then made a smart-card based signature of the Regulation, both showing the willingness of EU Institutions to “go digital” - an important symbol for Eurosmart members.

Vice-President Neelie Kroes also signed electronically a letter to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, asking him to lead the way by European Commission truly digital by using e-invoices, e-procurement and e-signatures under your Presidency – and calling for the other EU institutions to do the same.

Various panelists then made statements on the consequences and benefits of the eIDAS Regulation, and shared their views of eletronic transactions in a connected world in 2020.

In the second panel discussion on “Business views from the supply side”, Ms Jessica Westerouen van Meeteren, Executive Vice-President, Government Identity Solutions Division, at Morpho expressed the importance of trust and the need for a "high" level of authentication assurance for the qualified electronic signature.

Her statement preceded a keynote speech by GSMA Europe Director Martin Whitehead, who welcomed the eIDAS regulation as a major step towards simplified digital services. He also pointed out the importance of great connectivity and trust fo foster mobile identity.

At last, the European Commission's head of eIDAS Task Force Andrea Servida concluded the event, thanked all participants and the industry. He underlined that the launch of the eIDAS is a first step, much work remained to be done when it comes to implementation. Another event on eIDAS will take place on November 19th 2014.

President of Eurosmart Oyvind Rastad, who also participated to this event, confirmed that "it allowed to bring together key leaders of the industry and the EU institutions, who compared their views and discussed economic and business opportunities and challenges for eIDAS related technology and services". He added that "this legislation is a key step towards the removal of existing barriers to Europe’s digital development on the way to the single market, provided that we can ensure the right levels of security and privacy users from attacks and fraud attempts. The smart security experts remain at the disposal of the Member States and European Commission to provide technical expertise on the technicalrequirements laid down in the Regulation".