The European Commission published recently a Green Paper on extending the use of e-Procurement in the EU, http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/consultations/2010/e-procurement_en.htm.
This Green Paper is quite biased against electronic signatures, which in my opinion demonstrates some ignorance about the matter, being one of the less complex issues of e-procurement. In Spain, and with the general availability of the Citizen ID Card (DNIe), electronic signature is straightforward.
Challenges identified (section 6.4, p 10) stresses the following:
Some of these solutions are technologically very simple e.g. the use of username/password combinations; others are more sophisticated, requiring specific types of electronic signatures, including qualified signatures (requiring a digital certificate issued by supervised/accredited Certification Service Providers). The decision to promote qualified e-signatures within the Action Plan may have set the point of reference for e-Procurement applications too high and increased the cost and burden of submitting tenders electronically…
A consultation on the Green Paper is open until 31/01/11.