22 European countries have signed a Declaration on the establishment of a European Blockchain Partnership. 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. This should ensure that Europe continues to play a leading role in the development and roll-out of blockchain technologies.
Blockchain is technology for promoting user trust. It makes it possible to share on-line information, agree on and record transactions in a verifiable, secure and permanent way. The technology is already being successfully tested, mostly in financial services, and will become more operational and integrated into increasing number of digital services, such as regulatory reporting, energy and logistics in the coming years.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, 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 decentralised and collaborative nature of blockchain and its applications allows exploiting the full scale of the Digital Single Market from the outset. Close cooperation between Member States can help avoiding fragmented approaches and can ensure interoperability and wider deployment of blockchain-based services. 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 European Commission also launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum in February 2018 and has already invested more than EUR 80 million in projects supporting the use of blockchain in technical and societal areas. Around EUR 300 million more are to be allocated to blockchain by 2020.
List of countries signatories of the Declaration: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK.
Other countries, Members of the EU and of the European Economic Area are invited to join the European Blockchain Partnership.