30th October 2017
A new all-party Innovation Group has been launched in the European Parliament to foster innovative technologies.
The group aims to ensure the EU keeps up with fast-evolving technologies that could boost economic growth and have the potential to revolutionise how public and private services are delivered.
UK Conservative MEP and group founder, Ashley Fox, said: "We want to ensure policy-making in the European Parliament keeps up. As technology develops so does its potential to improve productivity and transform the delivery of key public and private services.
"This group will be working with businesses and developers to inform EU policy and look at ways of fostering this innovation to the benefit of our citizens. The EU is at the forefront of research but it is missing a trick by not fully supporting innovation."
The cross-party group will be organising events and publications on developments in sectors such as financial technology, virtual currencies, distributed ledger technology and green finance.
EPP MEP and former minister of state at Ireland’s Department of Finance, Brain Haynes, said: "One area that the group will be working on is the funding problem faced by innovative start-ups that forces many to look overseas to secure investment. It is essential that we support businesses, new and established, in pushing the boundaries of technology so our economies can stay ahead."
S&D MEP and rapporteur of the Parliament’s report on distributed ledger technology Eva Kaili, said: "Ledgers recording businesses' and peoples' assets are at the heart of commerce, but other than computerisation they work today as they did 100 years ago. Distributed ledger technology offers a new way of thinking as we move away from traditional methods into a new economy. The Innovation Group will be looking at it can change the way private and public sector deliver services to the benefit of the consumer.
The group is due to appoint a new ALDE vice-chair after Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen was appointed Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management in the new Dutch Government.