CEOs of leading European tech companies meet lawmakers in Brussels, discuss pressing challenges for the sector and call for regulations that support continued growth
BRUSSELS, 8 December 2021 – Today, the European Tech Alliance gathered ten of its member CEOs to discuss with EU policymakers the pressing challenges, opportunities and EU digital regulation relevant to Europe’s leading tech businesses.
EUTA members’ CEOs met with Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Andreas Schwab MEP, Rapporteur for the proposed Digital Markets Act.
Kristin Skogen Lund, President of the EUTA stated:
“The EUTA CEO Forum successfully showcased the value and growth of the European tech sector and highlighted the need for a legal framework that enables innovation, investment and fair competition. In addition to addressing key opportunities and concerns for the European tech scene, like the proposals for a Digital Services Act and a Digital Markets Act, EUTA CEOs also raised common concerns around the need for tech talent, access to data and financing from the market as well as trends in consolidation in Europe. This Forum really showed that there is a growing need for the European tech sector to speak with one unified voice – to share our perspectives on how the digital market can be made more fair, to ensure innovation and growth in Europe.”
The CEOs underlined the value that the sector brings to the EU economy and reiterated their support for the proposed Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act. These are landmark pieces of legislation that will have a direct impact on Europe’s digital ecosystem, and it is important to get them right.
The CEOs expressed concern at the direction of travel of the negotiations on certain issues, and specifically that the rules are often designed with a select few global businesses in mind. This leads to a lack of attention on whether the rules are proportionate and practical for the wider tech sector, and the consequences this has on innovation and growth among Europe’s home-grown businesses. The CEOs called for key differences between business models to be better reflected in the DSA and DMA in particular, notably by taking a more targeted and risk-based approach to new obligations and discouraging a one-size-fits-all approach.
In particular, on the DMA, European CEOs warned of the dangers of a broad scope that would not achieve the objective of targeting systemic gatekeepers, but would rather act as a growth cap for many European e-commerce players, and undermine their competitiveness in today’s global world, while also detracting attention and resources from the real gatekeepers of the digital economy. The EUTA continues to support the DMA with a targeted scope.
On the DSA, strong concerns were raised over many of the disproportionate and ill-adapted rules that are being discussed, and which would see a very diverse set of platform business models regulated as if they all presented the same risk profile and challenges.
Magdalena Piech, Chair of the EUTA commented that:
“The first ever EUTA Forum offered an opportunity for the CEOs of leading European tech companies to discuss the challenges we face as a sector. EU rules should provide EU tech firms with the flexibility to adapt to changing consumer expectations and to benefit from new technologies. This applies to rules regarding platforms’ obligations, use of Artificial intelligence and data. The goals of the many initiatives are well defined, but often the spirit of regulation is diluted in the course of the legislative process. Clear, fair rules should be the goal, followed by EU wide implementation.”
The companies represented at the CEO Forum were: Adevinta, Allegro, Booking.com, Cdiscount, Criteo, CodeForAll, Proton, Schibsted, Seznam.cz and Trivago. The EUTA hopes that the CEO Forum will create the opportunity for further dialogue with European policymakers to ensure the voices of European tech are heard in the regulatory debate.
“I am confident that our messages were heard and look forward to continuing to work with EU policymakers, and with the upcoming French Presidency of the Council of the EU, to make sure the ambitions to strengthen EU tech are reflected in the regulatory framework.” added Magdalena Piech.
About the EUTA
The European Tech Alliance (EUTA) brings together and gives a voice to the major European digital champions, scaleups and leading start-ups. We believe that Europe is good at tech and our sector is driving jobs and growth across the continent. With an overarching goal of fostering innovation in Europe, EUTA members are keen to provide expert insights to the EU institutions and promote EU competitiveness in the global tech space.