Cyprus’ Ministry of Transport has called for a public debate on the issuance of digital identity cards that will serve as electronic signatures.

Financial Mirror reports that the island country is one of the few countries in the EU that has not adopted a “legislative plan for the issuance of electronic identity” since a relive order was given in 1999.

For EU transactions in the European internal market, Cyprus must introduce an EU directive known as Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services (eIDAS).

This directive states that all organisations providing public digital services in an EU Member State, must be able to accept electronic identification from all EU Member States from 29 September 2018.

To introduce electronic identity, Cyprus will have to create a full institutional and legal framework that provides for the adaptation or adoption of six comprehensive laws, regulations, decisions and protocols.

The e-Governance Council decided to promote the introduction of electronic ID cards about a year ago. This same council is in charge of implementing digitisation reforms, pending the launch of the deputy Ministry of Research and Innovation.

According to the terms of the national electronic identity plan, any duly authorised provider of electronic identity services may provide citizens with electronic identity cards.

The new identity card will be a good tool for electronic identification of people in all their cases with online government services.

Citizens who apply for an electronic identity card can do this online. Applicants must be over 18 and have received a biometric identity card from the Republic of Cyprus.

Companies producing and issuing such ID cards must be owned by citizens of Cyprus and must have no criminal record.

They will need liability insurance for a minimum of €1,000,000.

The Ministry of Interior will oversee the issuance of the e-ID’s.

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