The European Commission held its Digital Day 2018 in Brussels. The conference was successful because it led to the signing of a Declaration whose main objective is to create a European Blockchain Partnership.
The EC vice president called upon Europe to take the leadership role in digital currencies by investing in Blockchain innovation and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
According to the press release, the partnership will provide a platform for cooperation amongst Member States to exchange experience and expertise in as far as technical and regulatory fields are concerned. The member states will also use this platform to prepare for ‘the launch of EU-wide [Blockchain] applications across the Digital Single Market for the benefit of the public and private sectors’.
Cryptocurrency regulation topic emerged during the discussions and it was agreed that the partnerships will create an enabling environment while complying with the EU laws and with clear governance models. With these in place, EC notes that services using Blockchain will flourish across Europe. 22 countries (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) signed to the declaration, inviting other EU member states to join.
The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum was launched in February and was described as “one of the world’s most comprehensive repositories of [Blockchain] experience and expertise.”
From the press release, there is an acknowledgment that the EC has invested more than 80 million euros (around $98 million) in Blockchain-related projects. About $371 will be allocated to Blockchain development by 2020.