EU Council adopts eBusiness Rules
A recent Press Release issued by the Council of the European Union announced the adoption of new regulation laying down conditions for mutual recognition of electronic identification as well as other factors governing electronic transmissions, including setting rules for trust services - specifically for electronic transactions - and creating a legal framework for eSignatures, seals, time stamps, electronic documents (eDocs) and more. The recent regulation is part of a wider EU effort to provide a standard, common foundation for secure cross-border electronic interaction between businesses, individuals and public authorities, aimed at improving and increasing the effectiveness eBusiness and eCommerce in the EU, and part of a greater initiative to increase and enhance trust in electronic transactions within the scope of the European Commission’s ‘Digital Agenda for Europe’. We view the EU Council’s initiative as yet another crucial step towards wider adoption of paperless, electronic practices within the spectrum of cross-border transactions - also extending to trade and finance applications - as government bodies and legislators are seen to be taking direct action to that end. According to the press release, member states may join the mutual recognition system as soon as the necessary implementing acts are in place, which should occur in the second half of 2015, while mandatory mutual recognition is expected to kick off in the second half of 2018.