In a speech at EC's Digital Day 2018 in Brussels Tuesday, Ansip asked European Union countries to commit to Europe's digital and data-based future - with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), digital healthcare and blockchain technologies.
Earlier in February, the EC launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum and has already invested more than Euro 80 million in projects supporting the use of blockchain in technical and societal areas. In March the commission stated its intentions to launch a joint regulatory framework on Fintech, which will include crowdfunding and Blockchain technology standards.
As representatives of the European countries gather in Brussels for Digital Day 2018, 22 Member States of the European Commision (EC) have signed a declaration to establish a European Blockchain Partnership. "With VentureEU, Europe's many innovative entrepreneurs will soon get the investment they need to innovate and grow into global success stories", Commission vice-president Jyrki Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, said.
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Blockchain, it has been claimed, has the potential to create opportunities to enhance services in both public and private sectors, notably making better use of public sector information while preserving data integrity, and providing better control of data by citizens and organisations interacting with public administrations, reducing fraud, improving recordkeeping, access, transparency and auditability, within and across borders.
As well as enabling member states to work together, the partnership also aims to facilitate the interoperability and implementation of blockchain services.
After briefly recapping the progress since Rome, the event broke for coffee (it is Europe, after all) before discussing how to pave the way for the EU Artificial Intelligence Initiative, which focused on securing "commitments from EU Member States governments and key stakeholders from industry, academia and civil society", especially with regard to engaging in the European AI Alliance.
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The signatories agreed to co-operate to establish the partnership with a view to developing a blockchain infrastructure that can enhance value-based, trusted, user-centric digital services across borders within the Digital Single Market.
In a speech centered on digitization, a vice president of the European Commission - the executive arm of the European Union - pinpointed blockchain technology as an area that EU nations ought to be committing to.
The partnership is tasked with allowing member countries to share experience and expertise in the emerging technology in order to create a path for a Digital Single Market that will benefit the private and public sectors.
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The European Commission launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum in February and will invest some €300 million ($370M USD) in projects supporting the use of blockchain. U.S. companies do have access to investment because there are more investment funds out there.