Electronic signatures are a robust way of linking the identity of the signatory to the content of a document, often as electronic proof of informed consent, which is key in civil law for the validity of contracts and other signed documents. Electronic documents can thus replace paper documents in relations between citizens and the administration and in other private transactions.
However, the legislation on electronic signatures and the corresponding technical standards form a complex ecosystem that seems to be designed by specialized experts for specialized experts. The following drawing represents the structure of various standards, rules, laws, directives and standards, related to electronic signatures, to show the complexity of the environment. And more standards are on the way.