The European Commission has ended its Digital Day 2018 summit by announcing the signing of a declaration to create European Blockchain Partnership. 22 states signed the document, which looks to create a way for member states to cooperate and exchange experience and expertise about the technology.
In a press release, the Commission said that the Partnership will also prepare for the launch of EU-wide blockchain applications in the digital single market, in both the public and private sectors.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society at the European Commission, said:
“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 EU is looking to use blockchain as a possible way to promote user trust, particularly when it comes to sharing online information, agree on and record transactions in a “verifiable, secure and permanent way”. The Commission sees the technology having a potentially broad range of applications in financial services, digital services, regulatory reporting, energy and logistics.
The Commission had previously launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum in February 2018 and has already invested EUR 80 million in a variety of blockchain-related projects. The plan is to invest EUR 300 million more by 2020.
Vice president of the European Commission Andrus Ansip said:
“People are starting to feel the benefits of tearing down digital borders: the end of roaming charges and unjustified geo-blocking, portability of online content. Stronger rules on the protection of personal data and the first EU-wide rules on cybersecurity will become a reality in May 2018.
“But we need to accelerate our efforts: key proposals, from the free flow of non-personal data to better connectivity, still need to be agreed by the European Parliament and Member States. They are essential for the development of technologies such as artificial intelligence. Europe also needs to invest more in digital, research and innovation.”