Macron of France presents a vision of Europe’s “digital sovereignty”

French President Emmanuel Macron appears on the screen in this illustrated photo on October 28, 2020, while talking to the country about the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France.

Christian Hartmann | Reuters

London — On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron said Europe must maintain its “digital sovereignty” and outlined several steps aimed at reducing reliance on US tech giants.

According to Macron, US digital platforms have contributed to the “major transformation” of society after the outbreak of the coronavirus, but they need “European solutions and European sovereignty” when it comes to technology.

“We need European funding, European solutions, European talent, and European regulation,” Macron said in a conversation with Swedish billionaire Niklas Zennström, who co-founded Skype.

“There are regulations, but no equivalent to these very large caps,” Macron added, referring to high-value US tech companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.

French leaders have outlined three requirements for Europe to achieve such a digital sovereignty strategy. They include:

  • Strengthening European Union integration, including startup financing
  • “Digital Single Market” that promotes privacy and technological innovation
  • European cloud and data solutions to reduce reliance on US companies

Digital sovereignty has become an integral part of the EU’s bid to become a global tech powerhouse against the dominance of major US tech companies.

The block will soon announce groundbreaking new rules for managing digital markets and services that can have significant consequences for US giants such as Google and Facebook.

Meanwhile, the European Commission, Germany and France are working on initiatives aimed at reducing dependence on cloud giants in the United States and China. This project, called Gaia-X, aims to develop a new framework for European data infrastructure. This is basically a blueprint for future European cloud providers.

Zennström’s venture capital firm, Atomico, released a report on Tuesday showing that the European technology sector is on track to win over $ 41 billion in startup investment in 2020. It also highlighted the challenges of raising growth funding and diversifying technology.

Macron of France presents a vision of Europe’s “digital sovereignty”

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