The European Commission’s (EC) Digital Day 2018 has led to the signing of a Declaration to create a European Blockchain Partnership made of up 22 countries, according to an April 10 European Commission press release.
During yesterday’s speech, the EC Vice President called on Europe to become a leader in digital technologies by working on Blockchain innovation as well as artificial intelligence (AI) development.
The press release reads that 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”
Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel spoke of the potential for Blockchain technology to be integrated into existing industry:
"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.”
The topic of regulation for Blockchain technology was also addressed in the press release, which stated that the Partnership 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.” The EC reported in early March that they would be releasing a EU-wide fintech and Blockchain framework.
The participating states that have signed the Declaration for the Blockchain Partnership are as follows: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. The press release adds that other members of the EU and the European Economic Area are also invited to join.
In early February, the EC launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which Gabriel called “one of the world's most comprehensive repositories of [Blockchain] experience and expertise.”
The press release notes that the EC has invested more than 80 mln euros (around $98 mln) in Blockchain-related projects, with around 300 mln euros (around $371 mln) to be alloted for Blockchain development by 2020.