Belgium, at the helm of the Council of the European Union in early 2024, is set to fast-track the development of a robust European blockchain infrastructure. The primary goal is to enhance the secure storage of official documents, ranging from driving licenses to property titles.
Belgium’s Presidency Agenda and The Europeum Vision
Notably, Belgium’s Secretary of State for Digitization, Mathieu Michel, outlined the ambitious agenda for their upcoming presidency. Four key priorities, including artificial intelligence (AI), online anonymity, and essential skills for the digital economy, will be addressed. The cornerstone of this agenda is the revitalization of the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI) project.
Furthermore, Michel proposes a strategic reboot of the EBSI project, advocating for its transformation into a European and political endeavor. The renewed project, now named Europeum, is envisioned as a critical component for public administration tasks, verifying documents like driver’s licenses seamlessly across the EU. Michel further emphasizes the potential of Europeum to also support the digital euro infrastructure.
Public Blockchain for Citizen Empowerment
In Michel’s perspective, utilizing a public blockchain developed by EU member states, as opposed to private alternatives, is crucial. The envisioned Europeum project aims to empower citizens by providing control over their data, ensuring security, transparency, and privacy.
Already, Italy, Croatia, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Luxembourg, and Romania have committed to the Europeum plan. The project’s headquarters will be also established in Belgium, signaling the collaborative nature of this pan-European initiative.
Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework
Also, against the backdrop of these developments, regulatory consolidation in the crypto and blockchain space continues to progress. Significantly, in early November, 47 national governments pledged to swiftly incorporate the Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF) into their domestic law systems.
Notably, CARF represents a new international standard for the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities. This further reflects the ongoing commitment to fostering a secure and transparent digital economy across borders.