COP27 has drawn to a close. But what does its legacy mean for business?
Much has changed in the year since COP26 in Glasgow. The war in Ukraine has struck Europe with an...Read more
While writing the previous article on the ‘Gig’ economy, I started to think about the wider EU digital, or as I amicably refer to it, the ‘Geek’, economy, what its participants actually need from policymakers, and what are the latter actually doing to meet the needs of the former?
For decades, the EU’s tech and digital entrepreneurs have been raising concerns over the fragmentation of EU’s tech market, which makes it extremely difficult for start-ups to scale in the current regulatory spaghetti bowl of divergent Member State laws. EU tech companies have been constantly highlighting this issue as the most serious obstacle to their success.
So, what has the EU done over the course of its current term (2019-2023) to meet the needs of its geek entrepreneurs and unlock their potential?
In brief, I think it has gone the long way round. The EU seemed mostly preoccupied with tackling the dominance of big international (usually US) tech companies, rather than tackling the core of the demands of EU’s companies. Over the past 3 years, the EU put out a dozen legislative proposals aimed at the tech sector which I will give a brief (and in no-way unbiased) summary below:
Conclusion is, the EU must harmonise existing rules before starting to regulate new issues, to avoid layers of rules being created. That is, it should tackle the core problem of regulatory fragmentation in its digital economy, and not focus overly on adding more regulation on SMEs. Otherwise, EU’s tech entrepreneurs, engineers, developers will continue to move to the US (or maybe even Russia).
Author: Milan Pajic, Director, Tech and Digital Policies (firstname.lastname@example.org)