E-Signatures: Unsung Hero of the EU’s Digital Single Market

Posted by John Jolliffe, European Government Relations Lead, and Andrea Valle, Senior Product Manager for Document Cloud

When European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker launched the EU’s Digital Single Market programme back in 2015 it was issues like geo-blocking and the possible regulation of online platforms that attracted most of the media attention. But when it comes to actually creating a digital single market – removing the regulatory obstacles that prevent companies from doing business across borders – it’s the less glamorous and more technical work of the European Commission that is often more impactful.

Electronic Signatures are one such example. The new eIDAS Regulation, which comes into effect this July, will smooth away differences in the way different legal systems in Europe treat electronic signatures, harmonise technical standards and provide legal backing for new ways to use electronic signatures.

At Adobe we’re convinced that these new rules will help businesses, citizens and governments in the EU save time, cut costs, protect the environment and increase efficiency wherever processes require a signature. So today, in response to user feedback, we’re announcing some important new features that will not simply make sure our solutions comply with the new rules, but which we think will support the adoption of e-signatures in Europe:

Source of Trust

We’re excited by these updates which, we think, will help eIDAS succeed where the 1999 e-Signature Directive failed and finally persuade businesses to move away from the analogue way of doing business – a “wet ink” signature on a piece of paper – and to embrace digital technology. Europe is only beginning to see what electronic signatures can do, and Adobe will be there with more updates and features in the future.