Today, the European Commission came together in Brussels, Belgium to discuss important topics in regards to industry, academia and eHealth to name a few. What’s really exciting is the fact the EC discussed to some detail the benefits of pushing ahead more blockchain and artificial intelligence technologies.

Andrus Ansip who serves as the Vice President over the European Commission opened up the one day event in Brussels with a highly motivational talk in regards to how technological developments will be helping to shape the future of Europe. He emphasized the importance of Europeans building a strong Digital Single Market with increased investment along with digital skills, which include the progress of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.

Ansip said to those in attendance:

“Today is the time to look at the progress made over the last year. How to keep up the momentum, to build on our Rome success, and go further in other important areas of the Digital Single Market… This year, I will again ask countries to commit to Europe's digital and data-based future – with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), digital healthcare and blockchain technologies.”

Ansip continued by saying in detail what Europe should be focusing on:

“According to Atomico, we are home to the world's leading AI research community. And the European tech sector identifies AI and blockchain as the areas where Europe is best positioned to play a leading role. However, it is no secret that we have to invest – both politically and financially. There is quite some ground to catch up. Other continents are moving ahead quickly.
Today, I encourage those EU governments represented here to sign a declaration to work together more on artificial intelligence. This includes pledges to:

  1. Invest in AI development and deployment;
  2. Align national research agendas as much as possible;
  3. Make AI available to all companies and more public sector data available;
  4. Work together on ethical, legal and socio-economic aspects of AI.

I would like to see EU countries make a similar commitment to blockchain technologies – now moving out of the lab and going mainstream. As with AI: we should make the most of this new opportunity to innovate.”

This conference was a truly momentous event because it demonstrates to the public that European leaders know the importance of blockchain (among other technologies) being implemented quickly into society.

Some of the benefits of last year’s conference have already materialized. For example, Europeans are now enjoying free roaming charges and there are now much stronger rules in place to protect the personal data of citizens. Also, the first EU-wide rules on cybersecurity will become a reality in May of this year.