22 European nations formed a new Blockchain partnership aimed to exchange information about the technology.
Among the countries that signed the declaration on Tuesday establishing the new group, dubbed the European Blockchain Partnership, are the UK, France, Germany, Norway, Spain and the Netherlands, according to a release from the European Commission, which led the effort.
The partnership is targeting to avoid “fragmented approaches” to the technology by sharing technical and regulatory expertise among the member states and promoting Blockchain applications across the EU-wide Digital Single Market.
That includes support at government and inter-government level to identify “an initial set of existing cross-border digital public sector services that would gain added value from the support of a Blockchain services infrastructure, and start exploring other use cases.”
They are to also provide financial support. The European Commission has already invested €80 million in Blockchain projects, with €300 million allocated until 2020.
Italy is curiously missing from the signing of this declaration. The full list of participating countries is:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK.
The European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, stated the Blockchain will be used by all public services in the future and that the collaboration would turn the “enormous potential of Blockchain into better services for citizens.”
Lastly, the partnership aims to facilitate the interoperability and implementation of Blockchain services.
“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.”
In February the EU launched the Blockchain Observatory and Forum. Soon after that, the European Commission stated that it would host a Fintech Lab to promote Blockchain and other emerging technologies with the beginning the middle of this year.
A study conducted by the EU last November that evaluated the potential of an EU-wide Blockchain infrastructure was followed by this new partnership.