On May 25, 2018, a workshop on “Electronic signature and trust services: improving legal and technical basis” was held with the participation of international experts within the joint project of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies (MTCHT) and the European Union (EU) “Enhancing development of electronic services and e-commerce in the Republic of Azerbaijan”.
Speaking at the event, Rashad Azizov, head of the department of innovative development of the information society and electronic governance of the MTCHT, noted the utmost importance of holding such meetings to improve the technical and legal basis of the national public key infrastructure in Azerbaijan and bring it into line with the European Union standards. He informed the participants about the availability of relevant presidential decrees related to ensuring mutual recognition of electronic signature, including ASAN imza certificates between the countries and improving legal framework. Rashad Azizov also stressed that necessary work was carried out in this direction according to instructions and recommendations.
In turn, Elnar Asadov, Director of the Data Processing Center (DPC) said that the working group, set up by the experts of the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Program (TAIEX) of the European Commission, studied the situation in Azerbaijan with electronic identification and trust services and analyzed it in the context of European standards.
He also emphasized the importance of improving the legal and technical basis for the mutual recognition of electronic signatures.
“Pursuant to the relevant decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, our country has joined the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Treaties. Moreover, on 6 March 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of electronic signatures was signed between the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications of the Republic of Turkey for mutual recognition of electronic signatures in foreign countries. According to this document, the experts have already producing assessments to undertake technical work for recognition of electronic signatures between the two states. Negotiations are under way with a number of countries”, said DPC Director.
Elnar Asadov also noted that in 2014 EU legislation on electronic signature was improved and replaced with eIDAS (electronic Identification, Authentication and trust Services). According to him, the current Azerbaijani legislation on electronic signature is in compliance with the European Union Directive 1999, therefore there is a need for improvement work in the relevant field.
Deputy Executive Director of State Fund for Development of Information Technologies Azer Bayramov informed the participants about the joint program “Enhancing Development of Electronic Services and Electronic Commerce in the Republic of Azerbaijan” implemented by MTCHT and the EU. According to him, the proposals prepared as a result of cooperation with EU experts will help accelerate the process of adaptation to the relevant EU standards.
Then presentations were delivered.
Head of the Information Technology Department of the Austrian Parliamentary Administration Peter Richsteder delivered a presentation on “eIDAS: the status quo and trends at the level of the European Union”, head of the Austrian eGovernment Innovation Center Arnie Tauber made a presentation on “Mobile eID Solutions”, project manager of the Belgian company Transtec Olga Dimain gave presentations on “Adaptation of national legislation on e-signature to eIDAS - current situation, development and prospects” and “New European Union’s standards for the Protection of Personal Data”, technical expert of Transtec Udo Linauer made a presentation on “Trust Services in the framework of eIDAS”.
Speakers noted that improving the regulatory and legal framework for electronic services, mutual recognition of electronic signatures between countries will create conditions for saving time when confirming electronic documents and eliminating bureaucratic obstacles.
Therefore, the projects implemented in Azerbaijan by Data Processing Center of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies are commendable and serve to accelerate work in this direction.
The workshop continued with discussions.