EU Commits to Using Blockchain to Deliver Public Services

Aquaculture and fish farms must adapt to the changing sea conditions of climate change. Image credit- Ferit Rad from Mersin University

Digital Day 2018 has led to the signing of a Declaration to create a European Blockchain Partnership made of up 22 countries, according to an April 10 European Commission press release. It brought ministers, politicians, academics, business leaders and representatives of civil society to celebrate and plan Europe's progress in working with innovative digital technologies.

Ansip began by pointing out the achievements of the Commission regarding digital environments and new technologies, as well as the possible future of the European Union in these areas and the approach in other important areas of the EU's Digital Single Market.

That ambition involves "building on existing leading initiatives, pooling forces and collaborating further on specific actions toward a European Blockchain Infrastructure for services of public interest".

A follow-up to last year's EU Digital Day, which was held in Rome, this year's focus was on five priorities that will help the EU reach its goal of enabling "a competitive and socially secure society", as well as "better public services and security". By pooling health data, using artificial intelligence and blockchain and promoting innovation, Europe can significantly improve people's lives. Moreover, I believe there are a number of benefits included within membership.

The Partnership will also be a vehicle for co-operation amongst European countries 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.

The European Commission also launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum in February 2018 and has already invested more than Euro 80 million in projects supporting the use of blockchain in technical and societal areas. Coming off the back of the EUBOF was the announcement yesterday of the European Blockchain Partnership.

The Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis said, "I welcome this initiative connecting genomic and other health data across the European Union".

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 move to provide stronger protections for consumers came as part of a broader effort to boost public support for the European project following a rise in anti-EU populist sentiment and Britain's vote to leave the bloc.

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 U.S. 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.

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