European Union member states ink blockchain partnership

EU launches €410m venture capital fund for start-ups and SMEs

The afternoon session was dedicated to the Blockchain Partnership Initiative.The European Commission (EC) organized on Tuesday the EU Digital Day 2018, which drew digital technology experts and enthusiasts from across Europe.

During yesterday's speech, the EC Vice President called on Europe to become a leader in digital technologies by working on Blockchain innovation as well as artificial intelligence (AI) development.

More broadly, Ansip positioned the EU's investments in blockchain and other emerging technologies in the context of the Digital Single Market, with the goal of extending the EU's uniform regulatory structure to the technology sector. The declaration prioritises things like digital delivery of public services, redress and complaint mechanisms, which all could be delivered through the use of the blockchain. A large number of Member States agreed to work together on the opportunities and challenges brought by AI.

I believe that the establishment of this partnership not only ensures that member states will be at the forefront of blockchain technology, but it also ensures that Europe on the whole has the power to keep up with Asia and America in terms of their rapid blockchain technology progression.

The notable remarks come within weeks of European Union launching its own "Blockchain Observatory and Forum" earlier in February. Around EUR 300 million more are to be allocated to blockchain by 2020. The EC had previously stated that the one-day event would include a declaration aimed at building a European partnership in blockchain technologies.

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Further, the EC announced that it will form a European Blockchain Partnership to "promote interoperable infrastructures", though no further details are available at this time. "It adds to data capabilities of the European Reference Networks, who started clinical treatment and research of rare diseases towards the end of past year, and improves clinical trials".

Blockchain may be used to follow through on the Tallinn Declaration, which bound European Union governments to develop digital public services for citizens and to make cross-border services easier for businesses to access.

The venture capital plan is also aimed at increasing the size of European venture funds that on average raise 56 million euros, one third of their United States counterparts, EU Commission data showed.The small size of European venture funds has often prevented large investors, like insurers and pension funds, from investing in them.

The €410m will come from existing programmes, including the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the so-called "Juncker plan" to boost EU economic growth.

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