EU’s scramble for digital sovereignty. Why being the global regulator will not be enough

Research Paper by Nicola Bilotta

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The EU needs to play the game of the digital economy, rather than only write the rules of it.

#EUTechnologySovereignty #BrusselsEffect #EUDigitalTransformations #NextGenerationEU #Pan-EuropeanDigitalApproach


Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the aspirations of the EU's “technology sovereignty”. The European Commission (EC) has been concerned about the fact that the EU depends almost entirely on foreign services for crucial technology, particularly in digital services. The technology gap between the EU and the two global leaders, the US and China, might harm the long-term economic development of the EU as well as undermine its global ambitions. Up until now, The EU has been successful in shaping the digital world through the “Brussels effect”. However, to achieve its digital ambitions, the EU will also need to become a digital power, improving its digital and financial common market to establish an enabling environment to increase private investments in technology development. Furthermore, it will need to fully exploit the opportunities created by the Next Generation EU recovery plan, promoting a pan-European digital approach. It is time for the EU to play the game of the digital economy, rather than only write the rules of it.


About the author

Nicola Bilotta is currently a researcher at the Institute for International Affairs (IAI), where he works on international political economy, digital economy, and geo-finance. He worked as a research analyst at the Banker Research Team (Financial Times), with which he still collaborates as a consultant analyst. He co-authored the book “The Rise of Tech Giants. A Game Changer in Global Finance and Politics”, published by Peter Lang in 2019, and “The (near) future of Central Bank Digital Currencies. Risks and opportunities for the global economy and society”, forthcoming by Peter Lang.