European countries sign agreement on blockchain partnership creating the path for an EU wide Digital Single Market to promote the new technology.
European Commission to Create Digital Single Market
Twenty-two EU member states signed a declaration to establish a European blockchain Partnership according to the European Commission website.
The partnership is tasked with allowing member countries to share experience and expertise in the emerging technology in order to create a path for a Digital Single Market that will benefit the private and public sectors. The partnership sees it’s ultimate goal as that of ensuring Europe stays at the forefront of blockchain technology development and implementation.
The website describes blockchain as a technology capable of promoting trust. One that might be used to share information and “record transactions in a verifiable, secure and permanent way.”
As the technology is already being utilized around the world in the financial sector the partnership looks forward to adapting it and integrating it for digital services that will benefit other commercial sectors in the coming years. The statement on the website describes how a European wide Digital Single Market created from the outset to take advantage of the collaborative characteristics inherent to blockchain and its applications will prevent fragmented approaches by single countries.
This approach should allow all members equal input to creating an enabling ecosystem that supports full compliance with EU regulations and that will encourage blockchain based services to succeed across Europe.
Blockchain Technology Will Power Public Services
Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, was quoted in the statement about the creation of the partnership,
“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 European Commission has already invested over 80 million Euros to support the development of blockchain for the benefit of municipal and societal areas. Another 300 million Euros will be set aside to study the technology by 2020. The Commission launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum in February 2018.
The EC invites all members of the EU and European Economic Area to join the partnership. The twenty-two countries already participating include 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.