Over 50 digital domain experts, policy makers, EU Delegation representatives and national representatives from Eastern partner countries were updated on the progress of EU4Digital Trust and Security activities, ranging from eSignatures to cybersecurity, at a virtual event held on 9 October.
The session, organised by the EU4Digital Facility and held as part of the EU4Digital Steering Committee meeting from 5-9 October, was led by Mr. Arturas Piliponis, EU4Digital Facility Team Leader, and Mr. Martynas Daugirdas, EU4Digital Facility Trust and Security team leader.
Representatives from the Trust and Security team updated participants on the progress of several activities, including mutual recognition of electronic identification and eID maturity assessment in the Eastern Partner countries, a cross-border eSignature pilot, cross-border eServices, and cybersecurity guidelines for the Eastern Partnership region.
The results from the analysis on the use of electronic identification (eID), its penetration in society, and maturity in the Eastern partner countries were presented, revealing that countries are to a large extent technologically harmonised, though considerable work remains to be done in organisational and governance areas. The EU4Digital Facility also presented the results from the cybersecurity guidelines, summarising the main obstacles and gaps that need to be addressed, in terms of strengthening cybersecurity capabilities and cybersecurity resilience in the Eastern partner countries.
Cross-border electronic signing is one of the key enablers to extend the digital single market to Eastern Partner countries. During the thematic session, Mr. Sergiu Sechel, EU4Digital Facility Trust and Security Team senior expert, presented the intermediate results of the cross-border eSignature pilot between Ukraine and Estonia, with a prototype solution showcasing the creation and verification of electronic signatures between the two countries.
Participants also discussed their vision of future considerations beyond 2021, including the extension of eSignature piloting and of the cross-border eServices pilot in all Eastern Partner countries, the establishment of National Interoperability frameworks, the strengthening of cross-border cooperation, and support in the identification of CI/CII (Critical Infrastructure / Critical Information Infrastructure) in the Eastern partner countries. The session was continued by Mr. Besnik Limaj from the GFA Consulting Group, the Team Leader of the EU4Digital Cybersecurity EAST project, who presented the cybersecurity project state of play and plans for the upcoming period.
The Trust and Security thematic session concluded with discussions and a Q&A session. With further activities planned in developing regional action plans towards mutual recognition of eIDs, continuation of the eSignature piloting to ensure cross-border mutual recognition, and interoperability of cross-border eServices, the discussions focused on the progress of current activities, the priorities for the upcoming activities, and the importance of cybersecurity and digital trust services in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The next meeting of the EU4Digital Trust and Security Network is currently anticipated to be in November, with an exact date to be confirmed.