European countries on Tuesday agreed to a landmark blockchain partnership that will see the region lead innovations in the emerging technology. The European Commission announced that a total of 22 countries signed a declaration to establish the European Blockchain Partnership.
The partnership was part of events marking the European Commission’s Digital Day 2018. Vice president of the EC, Andrus Ansip in his opening remarks at the annual event tasked European countries on strategic agreements to foster emerging digital technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain technology, and 5G technology.
According to the EC’s statement announcing the blockchain agreement, the partnership “will be a vehicle for cooperation amongst member states to exchange experience and expertise in technical and regulatory fields and prepare for the launch of EU-wide blockchain applications across the Digital Single Market for the benefit of the public and private sectors”
The Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel made probably the biggest assertion yet about blockchain technology. “In the future, all public services will use [Blockchain] technology. Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and Member States to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services, and companies.” He said.
In the future, all public services will use [Blockchain] technology – Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy, European Commission
The statement listed who are countries signatories to the declaration as Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. It called on other members of the EU and the European Economic Area to join the partnership.
While several countries in Europe are making progress in Blockchain innovation, the EC favors a partnership mode because it will “contribute to the creation of an enabling environment, in full compliance with EU laws, and with clear governance models that will help services using blockchain flourish across Europe.”
In addition to a world-class Blockchain Observatory and Forum established earlier this year, the EC says it has invested more than 80 million euros in blockchain-related projects, a figure it expects to reach 300 million by 2020.