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7 South EU Member States agreed on enhancing cooperation and the sharing of best practices in distributed ledger technologies

Reference Number: PR192087, Press Release Issue Date: Oct 02, 2019
‘Consolidating further, black on white, concrete projects between SouthEU Countries on DLT and blockchain’ - Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri 

Seven EU Member states known as the SouthEU agreed on a memorandum of understanding for cooperation and the sharing of best practices in the area of distributed ledger technologies. 

The memorandum of understanding was agreed upon during the South EU Telecommunications Ministers Summit hosted by Malta at Auberge de Castille. 

When addressing the press conference, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri said that the signing of the memorandum of understanding consolidated further the cooperation between the seven states on the digital sector. 

‘Back in December of last year, Malta spearheaded an initiative that brought on board Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, where together we agreed to promote and work further in the blockchain and DLT sphere, share our expertise and knowledge, and most importantly enhance further our cooperation in this new emergent industry. The signing of that declaration was clear evidence of a sense of acknowledgment of this emergent industry. Today’s initiative of a memorandum of understanding takes us a step further, it marks our commitment, as the seven EU member states, to establish a framework for the sharing of best practices in the design and application of DLT at a governmental level. This framework will help us as a region, to achieve the maximum potential of such technologies and enable us to enhance the daily lives of our citizens’ said Parliamentary Secretary Schembri.

‘We can proudly claim that today’s event is a historic milestone. It is the first ever commitment, black on white, between Southern European member states to cooperate in a tangible and deliverable manner with each other on any area. In this case the digital sector is the first area which we identified as being ripe for cooperation, to enhance economic growth in the region and to explore the possibility for cooperation on cross-border distributed ledger technologies projects between the Southern European countries’, said Parliamentary Secretary Schembri. 

Malta, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Cyprus, know as the Southern European countries, committed themselves to explore the possibity to cooperate on cross-border distributed ledger technologies projects and to share best practices in the application of distributed ledger technologies. Through the memorandum of understanding, a framework was established for the sharing of best practices in the design and application of distributed ledger technologies at a governmental level between Southern European countries. An expert group made up of a member and alternate member for every participating country will be set up to discuss the mentioned initiatives. 

Italy’s Undersecretary of State to Economic Development Mirella Liuzzi said that, “Southern Europe has enormous growth potentials in the digital domain. Emerging technologies, such as blockchain and, more generally, distributed ledger technologies, can be catalysts to promote the specificnesses of Southern Europe and protect our agricultural, commercial and industrial products from frauds and counterfeiting. In this sense, we must find forms of cooperation among the various countries. The signing of this memorandum is an important step in this direction.”

The Greek Minister for Digital Governance Grigoris Zarifopolous said that today’s initiative is very important as the way forward in this digital sector is through collaboration. ‘The Southern Countries in the Mediterranean share similar characteristics and challenges, thus, helping each other is key to move forward and be able to lead and compete on an international level; and not only on the blockchain sector but in every aspect of the digital transformation’, said Zarifopolous whilst adding that there other aspects where all countries can cooperate closely together such as e-governance, connectivity, and cybersecurity. Zarifopolous thanked Malta for hosting the first SouthEU Telecommunications Summit and for its forward-thinking mindset in the digital sector. 

The next SouthEU Telecommunications Summit will be hosted by Italy.