Southern European Countries Team Up to Promote Blockchain Technology

A group of seven southern European countries including France, Spain, Cyprus, Portugal, Italy, Malta, and Greece met in Brussels on December 4 2018 to discuss an initiative to promote blockchain in the region. The meeting was centered on using blockchain technology as a developmental instrument to transform their economies. The group, which plans to make southern Europe a leading region in the tech sector, has pledged to launch initiatives to investigate and try the ‘new’ technology.

Although different sectors and industries have embraced blockchain technology, this would be the first time that countries are actively participating in the promotion and sustenance of the blockchain ecosystem.

According to a document titled “Southern European Countries Ministerial Declaration on Distributed Ledger Technology,” the group believes that blockchain technology is a game changer that is capable of revolutionizing different sectors of the economy. The distribution ledger technology is believed to be capable of increasing transparency and improving access to public information while providing more efficient custom collection and reducing the burden on the administration.

Distribution ledger technology together with emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and 5G telecommunication networks are believed to be a strong force that is capable of commanding substantial change in southern European countries. The major sectors targeted are the commercial, industrial, and public services. DLT would be useful in certifying product origin, mobility, land registry, healthcare, education, company registry, customs, shipping, and transport.

With blockchain technology, the group believes its citizens will be granted total control of their own personal data. They also believe that DLT can help cause further democratization of the European economic model. To actualize these dreams, the group is calling on the European Commission to help further the European Blockchain Partnership and its work.

The group led by Malta, the smallest country but the most active in the blockchain economy which recently earned the name Blockchain Island for its relentless contributions to the crypto ecosystem, also agreed to explore the possibilities of cross-border DLT projects between the participating countries and other potential members.

Conclusively, the group deliberated on strict government rules surrounding the crypto sphere and agreed that any legislation on DLTs should be based on European fundamental principles and technological neutrality. They added that any legislation on DLTs must be such that it allows innovation and experimentation so that private and public sector can have a better understanding of the technology and build practical examples.