ESI * ESI Mission Statement

Mission Statement for Electronic Signatures and Infrastructures Standardisation in ETSI

Standardization in the area of electronic signatures and infrastructures is currently taking place in the ETSI Technical Committee ESI. To achieve its goals ETSI needs the collaboration of all interested parties and stakeholders in the marketplace including vendors, operators, user organizations and other standards bodies.


The action addresses some basic needs of secure electronic commerce and of secure electronic document exchange in general by providing specifications for a selected set of technical items that have been found both necessary and sufficient to meet minimum interoperability requirements. Examples of business transactions based on electronic signatures and public key certificates are purchase requisitions, contracts and invoice applications.

The lack of standards to support the use of electronic signatures and public key certificates has been identified as one of the greatest impediments to electronic commerce. The deployment of vendor-specific new infrastructures is currently in progress. It is recognized by different parties that there is an urgent need for standards to provide the basis for an open electronic commerce environment. Speedy specifications in this area will make it possible to influence early developments.

The ETSI strategy is in line with, and endorsed by the initiative of the EU Commission to establish a harmonized infrastructure for electronic signatures.

Objective and strategy

The objective of the program is to present a set of ETSI Standards.  A further ambition is to harmonize specifications at the international level and gain a broad market take-up.  ETSI Specialist Task Forces have been established with the aim to complement the resources and expertise of ETSI TC ESI.

Wherever it is possible the Working Group will build upon existing specifications from ITU, ISO and IETF and focus on profiling and supplementing available material and, where necessary, developing new specifications. A close monitoring of and input to relevant work of the IETF will be essential to this action.