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Malta leads six other European member states to sign a joint declaration on further cooperation on DLT Technology – Malta also to host the Southern Mediterranean Summit on Digital Economy next year 

Encouraged by the work done in the area of DLT technology locally, Malta—guided by Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri—led six other European member states to sign a joint declaration, the ‘Declaration of the Southern Mediterranean Countries on Distributed Ledger Technologies’, with an aim of enhancing cooperation in the digital sector.

This declaration, which is the first of its kind, is being spearheaded by the first nation in the world to enact laws that provided a regulatory framework for DLT technology – Malta. 

The seven EU member states which have agreed to promote and work further within the blockchain sphere are Malta, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus. 

During the same meeting, Malta was confirmed as the host country for next year’s Southern Mediterranean Summit on Digital Economy. 

While addressing the member states’ ministers in his opening speech, Silvio Schembri said that the signing marks an important step forward in the cooperation between countries in the digital sector. “As Southern Mediterranean countries, we have a lot of untapped potential in the digital sphere. Distributed Ledger Technologies can serve as a great springboard to tap into this potential”, stated Schembri, while adding that together with Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, DLT have the possibility of revolutionising our way of life, hence it is crucial for this region to be at the forefront of such a revolution. 

Schembri said that the declaration will help bolster the work currently being done by the European Blockchain Partnership, which is looking at ways to develop best practices in Europe through a European Blockchain Service Infrastructure. 

Silvio Schembri also said that Malta has already sought the opportunities which these new disruptive technologies hold by enacting three laws, all of which are technology neutral and future proof. “We reiterate our willingness to share our experience and knowledge both with MED7 countries and other European member states”, said Schembri, while in view of such an important milestone, also inviting those present to next year’s Southern Mediterranean Summit on Digital Economy to be held Malta. 

By means of the signing of the declaration, the MED 7 countries committed themselves to acknowledging the digital sector as the common area of cooperation to enhance economic growth in the region, to explore the possibility to cooperate on cross-border Distributed Ledger Technologies projects between the Southern European Countries, with a potential for this cooperation to be extended to third countries in the Southern Mediterranean basin, and to meet on a regular basis at technical level to ensure that best practices in Distributed Ledger Technologies are shared with each other in the context of the European Blockchain Partnership. 

Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri thanked the Deputy Permanent Representative for Malta to the European Union Lorenzo Vella and all the involved team members who worked on this initiative over the past months.