A Roadmap for Europe to Succeed in the Digital Economy

December 2, 2019

Nations that lead in digital innovation and adoption, especially at the enterprise level, will be more competitive in industries ranging from agriculture to financial services and manufacturing. Indeed, Europe must harness the power of digital innovation not just to increase economic growth and expand prosperity, but also to address important societal challenges related to the environment, public health, transportation, and other pressing concerns.

The EU’s digital policies should reflect its twin goals of growing Europe’s economy and leading through its values. But matching the pace of digital innovation and levels of adoption that other markets are achieving, especially in the Asia Pacific and North America regions, also will require strong political will to achieve harmonized, innovation-friendly digital policies and regulations throughout the EU.

EU policymakers—including those in the European Parliament and Commission—should seize the opportunity of a new political cycle to redouble efforts to deliver the Digital Single Market, thereby cementing and implementing a strong vision for the digital economy. In concert with this, policy officials across EU institutions should commit themselves in the next term to developing new laws and regulations essential for providing a policy framework to drive growth in the digital age.

To that end, this policy briefing includes a number of recommendations for how EU policymakers can address fairness in online platforms; respond to concerns about online hate speech and disinformation; balance privacy, competition, and innovation to maximize economic welfare; and improve European competitiveness in emerging digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).