First e-signing of an EU legislative act

The first electronic signing of an EU legislative act took place on Wednesday 25 October in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. EP President Antonio Tajani  and Matti Maasikas, of the Estonian Presidency of the Council, signed electronically 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 of the e-signing process. It shows that the 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 which 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 digitalization 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.” 

EP President Antonio Tajani

“I am convinced that this is the way we will soon sign all our legal acts, simply because it makes sense. E-signature saves paper, time and money.”

Matti Maasikas, Estonian Presidency of the Council

The Estonian presidency of the Council, 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.