LONDON – In the digital economy, Europe has been missing.
, based in California, and Samsung, from South Korea, manufacture the most famous phones in Europe.
more widely used;
dominates online searches and advertising and
Control electronic commerce. European companies conduct their business using Amazon's "cloud" infrastructure and
. The region's wireless networks are built primarily with equipment from the Chinese giant
On Wednesday, the European Union outlined an attempt to restore what officials called "technological sovereign", in order to achieve stricter regulations of the world's largest technology platforms, as well as new rules for artificial intelligence and more public spending for the European technology sector.
Officials said the effort was a "generational project" and that the ideas reflect a growing concern among European leaders that the region's countries depend too much on the services provided by companies based on other sites. With the global economy increasingly focusing on technology, European countries will find it more difficult to create jobs and generate tax revenues to finance government services.
"We want to find European solutions in the digital age," said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, in a press conference in Brussels, which is the executive area of the European Union that is developing politics.
But the proposals presented on Wednesday were clearer to identify the problem than to offer specific solutions. The commission said it would begin a period of consultation that, it was expected, would last for a large part of the year before reaching specific legal proposals.
The officials presented some general ideas that suggest that the authorities seek to nurture local businesses facing foreign giants, which could generate more commercial disputes with Washington.
Companies that have become "guardians" in the relationship between businesses and customers, such as Amazon for shopping, Apple's App Store, Facebook's social network and Google's search engine, will face a greater scrutiny Officials said they will focus especially on the data they have, which could give them an unfair advantage over their rivals.
The artificial intelligence technology, in which computers are trained to perform increasingly complex tasks, will also receive a new government supervision, especially when automated systems create harmful risks such as health, transportation and surveillance. The commission said that the systems of
in these "high risk" areas they will have to be independently tested and certified before they could be used in the 27 countries of the European Union.
"Artificial intelligence (AI) is neither good nor bad in itself," said Margrethe Vestager, who is the vice president of the European Commission and is responsible for overseeing digital politics, at a press conference in Brussels. "It all depends on why and how it is used."
Vestager asked for more scrutiny of how facial recognition technology was being implemented throughout Europe.
Policy makers also described the standards for industries to share data within the European Union, thereby making it easier for companies and researchers to gather the information they collect to better compete against the technology companies they control. Much of the world's data.
Europe's ability to establish itself as a leader of the technology industry is very difficult in the face of competition from companies in the United States and China, which may have more experience and resources, said Kevin Allison, who studies the intersection of technology and technology. geopoltica at Eurasia Group, in Berlin.
"It's one thing to have ideas; it's one thing to even have a well thought out strategy, but implementing and executing ideas is the really difficult part," said Allison. "That's where Europe has fought."
Allison said that the proposals of Europe could face resistance in Washington, where there were threats of reprisals by the government of
against a French effort to impose taxes on the giants of American technology. "This is simply going to further fuel US concerns about Europe," he said.
The debate has attracted the attention of technology giants.
, the top executive of Facebook, was in Brussels to meet with officials and discuss the proposals. For their part, senior executives at Apple, Google and Microsoft have also visited the European capital in recent weeks.
The proposal leaves many questions unanswered, even if the European Union seek to regulate the harmful content of
, a controversial issue that raises concerns about free expression online. Some leaders in Brussels would like to hold companies like Facebook, Google and
eliminating some of the protections that prevent them from being legally responsible for the publications generated by users on their platforms.
Europe has been a world leader with regard to the
, which includes privacy and antitrust, and has influenced the way in which passes in other places are reacting to the power and influence of the world's largest technology platforms. But, as Europe has created its reputation as the most aggressive Silicon Valley watchdog in the world, it has failed to nurture its own technological ecosystem. That has left the region's countries increasingly dependent on companies that many leaders distrust.
In Europe, the technological effort is part of a broader debate about the role that the government must play in giving European companies an advantage over their foreign competitors. While officials in some countries such as France, Germany, Italy and Poland have called for more state intervention in the economy, others, including Vestager, have been more cautious.
Priya Guha, who works at the venture capital firm Merian Ventures and was previously the main link between the British government and Silicon Valley, said Europe was trying to balance the potential damage of modern technology while strengthening its position in the economy digital.
"Europe is trying to consider the impact on society while maximizing the benefits," he said.
(tagsToTranslate) Invaded by foreign technology giants (t) Europe wants to grow on its own – LA NACION