22 Countries Sign Declaration For EU Blockchain Partnership
Press Release, European Commission | Apr. 10, 2018
On April 10, 22 European countries signed a Declaration on the creation of a European Blockchain Partnership at the conclusion of EU’s Digital Day. 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.
The participating states that have signed the Declaration for the Blockchain Partnership 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.
At Digital Day, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel spoke of the potential for Blockchain technology to be integrated into existing industry, Gabriel 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 European Commission as invested approximately $98 million in blockchain-related projects with an additional $371 million to be allotted for blockchain development by 2020.
At Digital Day, the European Commission also announced the following major agreements that had been signed:
- A cooperation agreement on Artificial Intelligence signed by 25 European countries.
- A new eHealth initiative signed by 13 European countries that includes creating genomic databanks.
- An innovation cooperation agreement called Innovation Radar, signed by 17 European countries, which will speed the transfer of research breakthroughs from labs to startups.
- Several member countries announced deals to create 5G cross-border corridors for connected and automated driving, which will accelerate the rollout of next generation wireless networks and self-driving vehicles.
In a joint statement from EC leaders, the Commission declared:
Today’s commitments by Member States give a strong signal: We all understand that Europe’s future is digital and that the only way to fully reap the benefits of new technologies is by working together, joining forces and resources. By pooling health data, using artificial intelligence and blockchain and promoting innovation, Europe can significantly improve people’s lives. Earlier and better diagnosis of diseases, safer roads — this is only a glimpse of what embracing digital change can look like.