European Countries Sign Partnership to Create Digital Single Market

€2.1B of good news for EU startups

The countries, including the U.K., France, Germany, Norway, Spain and the Netherlands, signed a declaration on Tuesday establishing the new group, dubbed the European Blockchain Partnership, according to a release from the European Commission, which led the effort.

Speaking in Brussels on April 10, Andrus Ansip said the European tech sector identifies AI and blockchain as areas in which the continent can play a "leading role".

The website describes blockchain as a technology capable of promoting trust. "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.

Separately, the European Commission is proposing EU-wide fines of up to 4 percent of a company's annual turnover in each member state for firms found guilty of widespread infringements.

This year, I will again ask countries to commit to Europe's digital and data-based future - with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), digital healthcare and blockchain technologies.

Chicago Cubs brace for cold, Pittsburgh Pirates in home opener
Meanwhile, Tyler Chatwood will make his second start of the season and his Wrigley Field debut for the Cubs on Monday. The Cubs will be without All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo , who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday.

The afternoon was partially devoted to the Blockchain Partnership Initiative, which was featured in a session devoted to ensuring Europe "seizes all the opportunities offered by a transformative blockchain ecosystem". "The Partnership launched today enables Member States to work together with the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens". Calls for the European Union to introduce collective lawsuits, a tool used extensively in United States litigation, had grown after Volkswagen clients were outraged to learn that the German vehicle giant had cheated on emissions tests.

Before now, the European Commission had in February made an announcement of the launching of the European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum that aims at applying Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), of which Blockchain is one kind, to the bloc's economy.

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. Around EUR 300 million more are to be allocated to blockchain by 2020.

The proposal calls for: better public access to information submitted to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) by industry; more public consultations on scientific evidence; and guarantees that studies meet high scientific standards.

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