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Towards a European digital sovereignty policy

Towards a European digital sovereignty policy

Type of text : Opinion
Type of referral : Own initiative
Working group : Section for European and International Affairs

Rapporteur(s) :

Benoît THIEULIN
QUALIFIED INDIVIDUAL
Date adopted : 13/03/2019 | Period : 2015-2020
Digital technology provides undeniable benefits across many areas, but the "touchscreen revolution" has bolstered the position of the US tech giants (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft - GAFAM) within Europe, with their Chinese counterparts (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi - BATX) now not far behind. Coupled with trade, not to mention ethical, practices at stark odds with the principles by which the EU sets great store, such a stronghold is posing a major threat in terms of sovereignty.
 
For the EU, returning sovereignty to the heart of its digital strategy involves restoring and ensuring compliance with the rules of free 
and fair competition and tackling tax injustice, guaranteeing and shoring up freedom of consent and neutrality online, cracking down on illegal content and narrowing the digital divide. It also involves the EU charting its own way forward, reviving the principles of an open and decentralised internet, supporting European stakeholders in the sector, safeguarding the use of free software and investing in such promising technologies as high performance computing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things or blockchain.