A parallel authentication and public-key encryption is introduced and exemplified on joint encryption and signing which compares favorably with sequential Encrypt-then-Sign (ɛtS) or Sign-then-Encrypt (Stɛ) schemes as far as both efficiency and security are concerned. A security model for signcryption, and thus joint encryption and signing, has been recently defined which considers possible attacks and security goals. Such a scheme is considered secure if the encryption part guarantees indistinguishability and the signature part prevents existential forgeries, for outsider but also insider adversaries. We propose two schemes of parallel signcryption, which are efficient alternative to Commit-then-Sign-and- Encrypt (Ct&G3&S). They are both provably secure in the random oracle model. The first one, called generic parallel encrypt and sign, is secure if the encryption scheme is semantically secure against chosen-ciphertext attacks and the signature scheme prevents existential forgeries against random-message attacks. The second scheme, called optimal parallel encrypt. and sign, applies random oracles similar to the OAEP technique in order to achieve security using encryption and signature components with very weak security requirements — encryption is expected to be one-way under chosen-plaintext attacks while signature needs to be secure against universal forgeries under random-plaintext attack, that is actually the case for both the plain-RSA encryption and signature under the usual RSA assumption. Both proposals are generic in the sense that any suitable encryption and signature schemes (i.e. which simply achieve required security) can be used. Furthermore they allow both parallel encryption and signing, as well as parallel decryption and verification. Properties of parallel encrypt and sign schemes are considered and a new security standard for parallel signcryption is proposed.