Seven southern EU member states have joined forces to promote the development of blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and encourage its adoption across a range of public and private sectors.
The seven states – France, Italy, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Portugal and Greece – signed a joint declaration in Brussels on Tuesday (Dec 4) outlining their goal to promote the adoption blockchain technology in order to “transform” their economies with a “forward-looking vision to make Southern Europe a leader on emerging technologies”.
“We believe that it is a responsibility of the governments to ensure that their citizens fully understand the potential of emerging technologies and therefore promote and encourage educational programs on such technologies at all levels,” read the joint declaration.
The declaration, entitled the “Southern European Countries Ministerial Declaration on Distributed Ledger Technologies” identifies a wide range of sectors and services that could benefit from the implementation of blockchain technology.
These included certifying product origin, education, transport, mobility, shipping, land registry, customs, company registration, and healthcare.
“We believe that Distributed Ledger Technologies could be one of the instruments that can help our countries transform their economies and society into truly digital ones and become a leading region in this sector,” continued the declaration.
The seven nations also noted the important role that DLT could play in providing increased transparency for governments and improved privacy for their citizens.
“Due to its nature, we are of the view that Distributed Ledger Technologies can result in enhanced transparency, accountability, and privacy for the end-users. In this sense, we believe that the promotion of privacy through blockchain enhanced solutions could be a way forward, empowering citizens to be in control of their own personal data.”
The group also commended the important contribution of the European Blockchain Partnership in promoting DLT and called upon the European Commission to continue its work in the field.
The group also stressed the importance of taking a cautious and considered approach to legislation in the blockchain sector that would encourage innovation and investment.
“We believe that any legislation on Distributed Ledger Technologies should take into account the decentralized nature of such technology and should be based on European fundamental principles and technological neutrality. It should also allow innovation and experimentations in order for the public and private sector to better understand the Distributed Ledger Technologies and to develop use cases.”
The declaration also expressed the need for increased cross-border cooperation and collaboration between the seven signatory countries and mentioned the possibility of extending such cooperation to other EU countries in the future.
“We commit ourselves to hold regular meetings at a technical level to ensure that best practices in Distributed Ledger Technologies application are shared with each other in the context of the European Blockchain Partnership,” concluded the declaration.