Belgium to Focus on Blockchain During EU Presidency

Belgium will take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union in January 2024, and according to a top government official, blockchain will be one of its key agendas for the bloc.

Europe’s Digital Lag: Europe is lagging behind other regions on the digital front because its data is stored in silos, says Mathieu Michel, Belgium’s secretary of state for digitization. In a recent interview, he pledged the country’s commitment to developing a public blockchain infrastructure that will focus on converging the region’s data and resources.

Government-Managed Blockchain: “A lot of countries are working on applications based on the blockchain; it would be a good idea to build them on a common infrastructure. But it has to be on a blockchain which is managed by the government,” he told one news outlet.

Council of the European Union: The Council of the European Union is one of the key regional institutions in the EU. Along with the European Parliament, it amends, approves, or vetoes legislation proposed by the European Commission. The presidency of the Council rotates among the member states every six months. Spain has been at the helm since July this year, and Belgium takes over on January 1, 2024.

EBSI Reboot: Belgium wants to reboot the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) project.

Europan Infrastructure Consortium: Belgium proposes renaming the infrastructure as Europeum and including it under the European Digital Infrastructure Consortium. This consortium pools resources together from member states to explore costly science and tech projects.

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Focus Areas: Europeum will initially target public administration areas. This includes the storage of credentials such as driving licenses and identification documents so that they can be easily retrieved and recognized across the bloc.

Global Expansion: In the future, Europeum will expand beyond the region, says Michel. He revealed that Belgium is in talks with countries like South Korea and Japan to explore how Europeum could connect to infrastructure in these countries.

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By Team