EU Parliament Adopts Resolution on Blockchain

May 20

On May 16, 2018 the European Parliament’s Committee on Research, Industry and Energy adopted a resolution on blockchain focused on making the EU a global leader in the development and adoption of blockchain.

The resolution was proposed by Eva Kaili, Greek MEP, blockchain advocate and chair of the EU’s Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel which provides independent studies and information to help MEPs assess the impact of new technologies.

The resolution advocates for the use of blockchain in areas such as energy consumption, health care, supply chains, transport, finance and the creative industries. It includes various proposals, including suggestions that the EU should introduce:

  • technical standards and legal frameworks to permit smart contracts to be legally enforceable across the Digital Single Market;
  • a framework for initial coin offerings; and
  • a strategic plan for a European public-sector blockchain.

Kaili calls for “open-minded, progressive and innovation-friendly regulation” that is technology neutral. “It is not smart to regulate the technology per se, but rather its uses and the sectors that adopt this technology in their business models. Consumer protection and investor protection come first.”

The resolution also asks for funding for blockchain research and projects in the EU’s post-2020 long-term budget.

Now that the resolution has passed, the resolution will go forward to the European Commission for consideration.

Sue McLean is a partner in the IT/Commercial Practice Group in Baker McKenzie's London office. Sue advises clients on technology, sourcing and digital media business models and deals, as well as the legal issues relating to the implementation of new technologies. Sue advises clients (both customers and suppliers) on a wide range of technology matters including outsourcing, digital transformation, technology procurement, development and licensing, m/e-commerce, cloud computing, AI, FinTech, blockchain/DLT, social media, data privacy and cybersecurity. Sue also advises on commercial agreements and the commercial, technology and intellectual property aspects of M&A transactions and joint ventures. Sue has experience across various business sectors, including the financial services, consumer, TMT, travel and life sciences industries. She regularly speaks and writes about the impact of disruptive technologies and has a regular blog for Computerworld.