The Blockchain technology is viewed as a strategic imperative, especially in Europe. The continent’s member states and Norway recently signed up a deal to create the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) and to put in motion the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI); most notably, this includes the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, and Ireland.
Mission and Vision
The partnership and its projects aim to support the delivery of cross-border digital public services. With the use of the blockchain technology, all states under the agreement can share online information and agree on record transactions in a safe and transparent way. The technology and all processes involved were successfully tested in financial services; it will become more operational and integrated into increasing number of digital services in the future, including regulatory reporting, energy, and logistics. All states ensured that the projects will be in full compliance with EU laws and have clear governance models.
Supporting the project is Mariya Gabriel, the Commissioned for Digital Economy and Society: “In the future, all public services will use blockchain technology. Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and the 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. The Partnership [enables] the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens.”
Plans and Negotiation
Despite the clear declaration of partnership, the membership is still in the early stages of negotiating all blockchain-based public services to be offered. The plans and negotiations for the EBP and EBSI will run through the rest of 2018. The assembly will have three monthly meetings until December in which they have to agree on use-cases, technical or functional requirements, and governance models.
Individually, each state member has its own purpose and perspective in using the blockchain technology. Finland is interested and curious of new possibilities the technology could bring to matters related to document authenticity, data exchange, and identity management; the UK is open for ways on how to use it for border issues and transactions; and Germany has been eyeing the blockchain’s capabilities in the energy market.