eco on the State of the Union: “Europe must pursue a more opportunity-oriented policy that does not stifle innovations like AI”

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today delivered a State of the Union speech, highlighting that Europe must be a pioneer in AI and stand for transparent, ethical development.

eco Chair of the Board Oliver Süme has the following to say:

“In her State of the Union address today, the Commission President focused too excessively on the potential dangers of AI and digital technologies. This is unfortunately a real fundamental problem regarding European digital policy. While it is naturally important that any AI regulation clearly addresses possible risks, room for innovation is needed in order to harness technology opportunities. Today, Europe is already lagging behind in the development of AI systems. This not only jeopardises Europe’s technological sovereignty, but also the competitiveness of Germany’s entire economy. If Europe really wants to be a pioneer in innovative technologies, the EU must also pursue an opportunity-oriented policy that does not stifle innovation. Digital infrastructures, especially data centres, also play a central role here, as they are the foundation of every innovative technology such as AI.

“What is becoming increasingly important is digital sovereignty and strengthening the resilience of digital infrastructures as a safeguard against crises: resilience, sovereignty and sustainability must be understood as a common challenge for the European Single Market.

“A forward-looking and responsible European digital policy must recognise these interconnections and include them in its regulatory framework. In concrete terms, this means that data sovereignty needs efficient data centres in Europe. Data centres need affordable electricity, realistic climate targets and modern administrative processes in Europe.”

As the Association of the Internet Industry sees it, in this legislative term, the time that remains until the European elections must now be used intensively to complete the planned legislation in the digital field. The Commission, Parliament and Council should work consistently on the corresponding projects, given that regulations based on common European values and standards can also have an international impact that goes beyond the Single Market. This would strengthen the digital economy in Europe, make the Single Market more attractive as a location, and increase international competitiveness.

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