EU Establishes Blockchain Partnership

May 29

23 European countries have signed a Declaration on the establishment of a European Blockchain Partnership. The Partnership is intended to be a vehicle for cooperation amongst EU Member States to exchange experience and expertise in technical and regulatory fields and prepare for the launch of EU-wide blockchain applications across the Digital Single Market for the benefit of both the public and private sectors.

The EU partners are keen to ensure that EU plays a leading role in the development and roll-out of blockchain technologies. They believe that the Partnership will contribute to the creation of an enabling environment, in compliance with EU laws and with clear governance models that will help services using blockchain flourish across Europe. It is hoped that close cooperation between Member States will help avoid fragmented approaches across the region and ensure interoperability and wider deployment of blockchain-based services.

The Blockchain partnership declaration was launched in April 2018 and was signed by twenty-one Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Recently, two further countries signed up to the blockchain partnership: Greece signed on 23 May 2018 and Romania on 29 May 2018.

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.

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