European Commission: EU Countries Sign Declaration on Blockhain Partnership

12 April 2018, 12:20 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Blockchain is Going Mainstream from the Laboratory: EU Official

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

Welcoming the signing of the declaration, Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said: "In the future, all public services will use blockchain technology".

"Digital Day 2018 will aim to reach joint commitments related to the digital future of Europe in order to encourage investment in European digital technologies and infrastructures".

Through the VentureEU programme, the European Union will fund six venture capital funds-of-funds to the tune of €410m with a view to the funds raising up to €2.1bn from public and private investors.

Ansip recognized blockchain technology and artificial intelligence as being two of the fields which the continent must commit to work on collectively.

The Commission said this was expected to unlock €6.5bn of new investment in innovative start-up and scale-up companies across Europe, doubling the amount of venture capital now available on the continent.

"For the last eight years, Invest Europe has advocated using public money in new ways to bring in more private capital and facilitate the next stage of venture capital's evolution in Europe", said Michael Collins, CEO of the trade body.

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Some EU member states already allow consumers to jointly sue a company for compensation, but there is no effective EU-wide tool. This new collaboration is aimed specifically at avoiding "fragmented approaches" to the emerging technology by sharing technical expertise among each country. The press release states that the EC has now invested more than 80 mln euros in blockchain projects already and now has 300 mln euros to be distributed to blockchain development by the year 2020.

"The Partnership launched today enables Member States to work together with the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens", Gabriel added.

The proposal follows a European Citizens' Initiative, which had been signed by more than 1 million EU citizens, calling on the European Union to ban the controversial weed killer glyphosate.

"Too often during my mandate, I have heard that EFSA is in the hands of industry, " said European Health Commission Vytenis Andriukaitis.

The conference also highlighted the major progress made towards a Digital Single Market such as the end of roaming charges, the portability of online content, stronger rules on the protection of personal data and the first EU-wide rules on cybersecurity, which will become a reality in May 2018.

The €410m will come from existing programmes, including the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the so-called "Juncker plan" to boost EU economic growth. In addition, £12bn under the European Structural and Investment Funds is being invested in digital technologies.



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