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07.2

Evolving Tech Policy in Europe

Europe hasn’t made up its mind about whether European regulation is going in the right direction. Founders and VCs are more likely to think it isn’t, whilst those in the public sector or in policymaking roles are more favourable.

The direction of travel of European regulation around technology is positive for the European tech ecosystem

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  • Agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree

The policy agenda in Europe around technology has been dominated by data privacy and content copyright for the past two years.

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  • FY 2017
  • 2018*
Note:
This data looks at the number of citations of keywords related to a number of selected technology-related issues in European Parliament legislation, where legislation equals documentation related to the ongoing process of law making, actual bills, etc

In the UK, in particular, it's revealing to look at the relative level of discussion of key tech issues in UK government legislative documents, activities and press releases. Brexit, unsurprisingly, has swamped everything else.

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  • Activities
  • Press Releases
  • Legislation
Note:
This data looks at the number of citations of keywords related to a number of selected technology-related issues in UK government legislation, activities and press releases.

There's a clear growth in focus on Artificial Intelligence in European Parliament legislative documents, but in other key emerging technology fields, such as quantum computing or autonomous vehicles, there is more 'activity' and 'commentary' than actual legislation.

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  • 2017
  • 2018
Note:
Legislation = the ongoing process of lawmaking, actual bills, procedures. Activities = the questions and speeches made by the elected legislators. Press Releases = the commentary and response from the various agencies and other moving parts of government.

We urgently need Europe’s governments to form long-term strategies around AI, while stepping up investment into education and basic research. The future is at stake.

As Spotify, iZettle and Skype have shown, success breeds more success. Europe is flourishing in terms of access to later stage capital, and an ecosystem required to support startups on their journey. Fintech, healthtech and social impact are just some verticals showing huge promise. But what worries me is that Europe hasn’t gotten its act together on AI – our companies risk getting crushed by the giants in US and China. We urgently need Europe’s governments to form long-term strategies around AI, while stepping up investment into education and basic research. The future is at stake.

Jacob de Geer

iZettle

The legislative process in key European countries has been dominated by data privacy, content copyright and Brexit with much less discussion related to other key new technology fields. In Germany, in particular, the issues of data privacy and content copyright have been top of mind for German policymakers.

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  • France
  • Germany
  • UK
Note:
This data looks at the number of citations of keywords related to a number of selected technology-related issues in French, German and UK government legislation, activities and press releases.

European governments are stepping up their focus on AI with many countries having launched initiatives.

List of government AI initiatives in Europe

In the coming years, further balkanisation of regulatory regimes could create opportunities for some European companies, but at the cost of limiting the overall growth of the sector.

Regulation is failing to keep pace with new technologies and business models, and the risk of overbearing regulation suffocating smaller companies remains very real. In the coming years, further balkanisation of regulatory regimes could create opportunities for some European companies, but at the cost of limiting the overall growth of the sector.

Chris Yiu

Tony Blair Institute for Global Change