Say hello to Europeum. The EU’s blockchain project will affect ‘the daily lives’ of citizens, officials vow

On Tuesday, the European Union established a new organization aimed at introducing blockchain infrastructure to revamp record-keeping and data transfer among the bloc’s 27 member states. This initiative is part of Europe’s effort to reduce dependence on US technology.

Key Launch Details

The announcement was made during a meeting of telecommunications ministers at the European Council in Brussels, where lawmakers also approved the EU’s landmark law on artificial intelligence. Mathieu Michel, Belgium’s state secretary for digitalization, has been a key advocate for the blockchain project, which he has named Europeum.

Impact on Citizens and Businesses

Michel emphasized that Europeum will significantly impact both individuals and businesses across Europe. “Europeum will have a tangible presence in the daily lives of European citizens,” he stated during a press conference. The blockchain infrastructure will allow citizens to trace the origins of products and enable businesses to protect their intellectual property by maintaining data on immutable blockchain networks.

Participation and Support

Ten European member states, including Italy, Poland, and Greece, have committed to helping operate and roll out the EU blockchain. Other European countries will also be able to use the blockchain infrastructure, with more nations expected to join. While Germany and France have not officially committed, France has shown support for the project.

Sovereignty and Digital Independence

Michel highlighted the importance of creating a sovereign infrastructure, rather than relying on services like Amazon Web Services. Europeum aims to record digital identities, wallets, credentials, and licenses, and Michel hopes it will translate legal and bureaucratic processes into efficiently automated smart contracts. The blockchain will also support metaverse applications and the European Central Bank’s digital euro.

Development and Implementation

The blockchain infrastructure has been under construction since 2017, under the European Blockchain and Services Infrastructure. Developers and companies have created a prototype that is already functional. The European Commission, however, lacks the legal basis to operate a blockchain for European citizens, which is why the project has been in pilot mode.

European Digital Infrastructure Consortium

To move forward, the project has been transformed into the European Digital Infrastructure Consortium, a multinational initiative supported by the European Commission. This consortium is part of Europe’s Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030, which has €165 billion to support its objectives.

Future Prospects

Michel underscored the importance of data security in cross-border exchanges. “People don’t need to be happy that Europeum exists,” he said. “They just need to know that if the data is exchanged between nations, administration, or companies, it is safe to use.”

The launch of Europeum represents a significant step towards enhancing Europe’s technological sovereignty, aiming to provide a secure, interoperable, and efficient digital infrastructure for its 450 million inhabitants.


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