EU Countries Join Blockchain Partnership
The European Commission recently announced that 22 European countries have now formed a European Blockchain Partnership by signing a joint declaration. Malta is one of the EU members who has joined the partnership, along with countries like France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Norway has also signed the declaration.
The blockchain partnership is intended to act as a vehicle for cooperation among the EU member states in terms of exchanging experiences and know-how in technical and regulatory fields.
Eventually, the partnership is also envisioned to act as a foundation on which to launch pan-European blockchain applications for EU services within the Digital Single Market. The European Commission states that blockchain is primarily interesting due to its ability to promote trust, which could be useful in enhancing regulatory reporting, energy grids, and logistics during the upcoming years.
Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, welcomed the signature of the declaration:
“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 Partnership launched today enables member states to work together with the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens.”
The nature of collaboration across national boundaries has always been a challenge which makes decision-making relatively sluggish in the EU, as compared to other major global players like the US and China. The decentralised and collaborative nature of blockchain offers a viable solution to this challenge and enables member states to exploit the full scale of the Digital Single Market.
The EU Commission states in its press release that blockchain can help member states avoiding fragmented approaches and ensure interoperability across new blockchain-based EU services and applications.
“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,” they write.
Additionally, in February of 2018, the European Commission also launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum. The Observatory has already invested EUR 80 million in projects that use blockchain for technical and societal solutions. By 2020, the Observatory is planning to invest another EUR 300 million into various projects.