November 23, 2023

Belgium Drives Europeum: Revitalizing European Union's Blockchain Landscape

Belgium is taking the helm in transforming the European Union's blockchain infrastructure, unveiling Europeum to elevate digital governance and document authentication throughout the EU.

In a groundbreaking move to propel digital evolution in the European Union, Belgium has declared its intent to breathe new life into the European blockchain infrastructure. The ambitious initiative is scheduled to take center stage during Belgium's presidency of the Council of the European Union in early 2024. Led by the Belgian government, the plan aims to expedite the establishment of a pan-European digital infrastructure, holding vast potential for securely managing official documents and enhancing digital services across the EU.

Belgium's Digital Infrastructure Boost with Blockchain

At the core of Belgium's proposal is the creation of a public blockchain system designed for the entire EU. This initiative is one of the four primary goals outlined by Mathieu Michel, Belgium’s Secretary of State for Digitization, in a recent interview with ScienceBusiness. The project, set to revolutionize the storage and verification of official documents like driving licenses and property titles, is part of a broader strategy to fortify Europe’s digital infrastructure.

The proposed blockchain system, initially known as the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI), was first established by the European Commission in 2018. It was a collaborative effort involving the European Blockchain Partnership, which includes 27 EU member states along with Norway and Liechtenstein. Michel envisions transforming this technical project into a more comprehensive European endeavor, encompassing both technical and political dimensions.

Europeum: A New Era for Public Administration

The reinvigorated blockchain project, to be rebranded as 'Europeum', is envisioned as a key tool for public administration tasks across the EU. Its primary role would be to facilitate seamless verification of driver’s licenses and other official documents across member states. Michel also suggests that the revamped infrastructure could play a crucial role in supporting the digital euro infrastructure.

The emphasis on using a public blockchain developed by EU member states, rather than private alternatives, is a strategic choice. Michel highlights the advantages of such an approach, particularly in terms of security, transparency, and privacy. He asserts that a public blockchain can empower citizens by giving them greater control over their data.

International Collaboration and Regulatory Progress

The Europeum project has already gained significant support within the EU, with Italy, Croatia, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Luxembourg, and Romania signaling their participation. Belgium is set to host the project's headquarters, marking a significant step in the country’s leadership in digital innovation within the EU.

The initiative aligns with a broader movement towards regulatory consolidation in the realms of crypto and blockchain technology. In early November, a group of 47 national governments pledged to integrate the Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF) into their domestic legal systems. The new international standard aims to facilitate the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities, reflecting the growing importance of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in the global financial landscape.

Belgium’s proactive approach to leading the blockchain initiative showcases the country’s commitment to digital innovation and collaboration within the European Union. The European project, focusing on public administration and citizen empowerment, represents a significant leap forward in the EU’s journey towards a more integrated and technologically advanced future. As Europeum takes shape, it is poised to set a new standard for digital governance and cross-border cooperation in the digital age.

Balancing Efficiency and Freedom

The risks associated with the digitalization of identity cards, licenses, and the introduction of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) revolve around the erosion of privacy and individual freedoms. The concerns include heightened surveillance and tracking capabilities, increased vulnerability to data security risks, and the potential for governments to exert control over citizens through centralized digital systems.

Additionally, there's a risk of exclusion and discrimination for those without access to technology, the loss of financial anonymity with the shift to CBDCs, and the possibility of mission and function creep leading to broader surveillance measures. Dependency on technology poses a threat, and the lack of adequate regulation and oversight may leave individuals unprotected against abuses.

Balancing efficiency with the preservation of privacy and freedom is crucial in navigating the digitalization of identity and the emergence of CBDCs.

Stay Connected
Join the conversation on 𝕏
Make a Difference
Support our content creators
and help us stay ad-free
BTC: bc1q6nt2u2u539kjgfn5hj8g9f8xk2hnwuudlrlnr9
Cryptocurrency news & learning platform
All Rights Reserved © 2024