The European Parliament has published a provisional resolution calling for measures to increase the adoption of blockchain technology in trade and administration.
Titled “Blockchain: a forward-looking trade policy,” the resolution acknowledged the potential of blockchain technology to improve EU’s trade policies. The report considered blockchain as a private, permissioned distributed ledger technology (DLT), comprising a database made up of sequential blocks of data that are added with the consensus of network operators.
According to the report, blockchain has the potential to support the Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) agenda by providing trust in the provenance of raw materials and goods, transparent production processes and supply chains, and in their compliance with international rules in the field of labour, social and environmental rights.
“Considering the particular relevance to conflict minerals, illicit trade in cultural goods, exports control and corruption, the Parliament stresses that blockchain could contribute to the sustainability work of companies and promote responsible business conduct,” the report said. “The Parliament believes that blockchain offers the potential to reduce the uncertainty associated with implementing Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) of Authorized Economic Operators (AEO), through a seamless exchange of data.”
The Parliament calls on the European Commission (EC) to follow developments in the area of blockchain, in particular the ongoing pilots/initiatives in the international supply chain, and the external aspects of customs and regulatory processes. It also invites the EC to produce a horizontal strategy document on adopting blockchain technologies in trade and supply-chain management as well as in the area of intellectual property.
“The Parliament believes that the aim must be to win the support of blockchain players for projects and initiatives in the international supply chain and to pursue projects on a joint basis, incorporating the identity, provenance and data storage of a variety of partners,” the report said.
In addition, he Partliament calls on the Commission to develop a set of guiding principles for blockchain application to international trade, in order to provide industry and customs and regulatory authorities with a sufficient level of legal certainty that encourages the use of blockchain and innovation in this area. It also encourages the EC to examine ways in which blockchain could support trade and sustainable development.
“The Parliament’s position that measures supporting an EU digital trade strategy should be fully in line with, and contribute to, the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment,” the report said.
Earlier this month, seven European Union countries – France, Italy, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Portugal and Spain – formed a group called the “Mediterranean Seven” and signed a declaration to foster the use of blockchain beyond cryptocurrencies.
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