The executive arm of the European Union government is planning to expand its work on blockchain, an official said last week.

According to newly published statements from 7th February by European Commission VP Andrus Ansip, the Commission is planning to grow its “support” for blockchain projects – something that Ansip characterized as an expansion of existing efforts.

It was last spring that the European Parliament approved a task force, led by the Commission, to study blockchain. At the time, MEP Jakob von Weizsäcker framed the measure as a way to monitor the nascent blockchain space while also avoiding new regulations for the time being.

Ansip went into detail about the efforts the Commission is undertaking, both within and beyond the scope of that task force. He highlighted potential technology pilots focused on “decentralised innovation ecosystems”, noting how the Commission has already become involved in several blockchain initiatives.

He told members of the European Parliament:

“The Commission is already supporting [distributed ledger tech]-enabled projects (DECODE, D-Cent, MyHealth MyData). Support activities are going to increase in the coming months (e.g. Decentralised Data Management). A study will be launched to investigate how DLT can help in reshaping public services and preparing for EU specific DLT actions to address relevant EU challenges.”

Ansip went on to say that the Commission would collaborate with the Parliament on future blockchain events, something the latter body has already undertaken in the past.

“The Commission will organise a kick-off conference with the European Parliament on Demystifying Blockchain and a series of workshops to look at Blockchain developments and use case applications,” Ansip said.

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