No room for complacency
Continued investment in Europe’s digital sector, however, is by no means guaranteed. In the past year, European businesses have experienced greater restrictions on the use and handling of personal data through General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The vast quantities of data processed impact the technology sector significantly.
Eighty-six percent of surveyed business leaders say the degree of protection of intellectual property (IP) rights is a key factor that determines where they invest. And, the implementation of a Digital Services Tax across Europe may harm investment into the sector.
The Digital Single Market is the European Commission’s strategy to protect consumer data, reinforce individuals’ access to online activities under conditions of fair competition, and resolve copyright and geo-blocking issues. Achieving this will help create an environment where digital businesses thrive.
The EU is backing up its strategy with money. In June 2018 it announced proposals for a €9.2b digital investment package.3 It will focus on supercomputers, artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity and trust, digital skills and ensuring wider use of digital technologies across society.