Blockchain: the EU should become world leader

Blockchain technology has the potential to transform society, but there is a need for legal clarity and certainty and therefore a common EU approach. This is the key message of an own-initiative opinion adopted by the EESC on 30 October, which also calls on the European Commission to launch a comprehensive initiative to make the EU a global authority in this field.

This technology can be applied in many sectors to increase security and transparency, and can even contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). However, as the EESC says in its opinion, several challenges have yet to be addressed and there is an urgent need to provide clarity and certainty, and to protect privacy.

The EESC therefore calls for a common EU approach and asks the Commission to launch a comprehensive initiative with the SDGs at its core. The initiative should be complemented by an action plan for Europe to enable it to become the reference point for blockchain worldwide.

To this end, tackling legal uncertainty is a priority. The current legislative framework is unclear and fragmented at Member State level. It is also essential to protect privacy, ensure interoperability between the different blockchain technology platforms and reduce transaction costs that are in many cases prohibitive. (dgf)