Tech giants urge EU to prioritize digital competitiveness and infrastructure investment

Five major technology companies – Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia, and Vodafone – called on European policymakers to take urgent action to boost Europe’s digital competitiveness and keep it a priority for the incoming European Commission. The companies made their appeal ahead of a meeting between D9+ digital ministers in Dublin.

The companies argued that policymakers should work towards a true Digital Single Market, address the investment gap in digital connectivity, and avoid introducing unnecessary regulatory burdens for companies operating in the digital ecosystem. They emphasized that Europe must seize the opportunity to become a global leader in the industrial internet by capitalizing on emerging technologies like AI, quantum computing, and 5G Standalone connectivity.

The companies highlighted five key policy actions needed to drive EU competitiveness through technology:

1. Accelerate the development of a true Digital Single Market by focusing on consistent, coherent implementation of existing regulations and avoiding new regulatory burdens.

2. Incentivize investment in advanced connectivity by modernizing the regulatory framework for telecoms, including a fresh approach to merger control and spectrum allocation.

3. Regulate B2B and consumer-facing technologies differently, focusing on fixing market failures, ensuring a level playing field, and addressing identified risks to society.

4. Foster policies that make trusted companies thrive in Europe through trade, recruitment, and research, and encourage cooperation between like-minded countries.

5. Ensure Europe is ready to reap the benefits of quantum and AI by promoting early-stage experimentation, encouraging resilient supply chains, incentivizing private sector investment, and preparing critical infrastructure for migration to quantum-safe standards.

The companies emphasized that Member States and the EU must work with industry to drive the deployment of world-class digital infrastructure, the adoption of productivity-boosting tools, and ensure that the regulatory environment is fit for the future. They also called for better coordination and improvement of European R&D funding mechanisms and processes.

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