Expert: Europe’s lag in digital technology could make it dependent on the US and China

The digital revolution has become a thundercloud for Europe, writes former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer in his article for Handelsblatt: at the moment, the EU cannot compete in this area with the United States and China. Meanwhile, the primacy in digital technology will determine the sovereignty of countries in the 21st century. According to Fisher, the EU urgently needs to make progress, otherwise it will face economic recession and dependence on leading players.

The West won the Cold War, and the world order created in the interests of Western countries seemed eternal, writes former German Foreign Minister Joshka Fischer in his article for Handelsblatt.

However, according to Fisher, such thinking was a big mistake. Now the world order is changing: its center is shifting from the North Atlantic to the Pacific region and East Asia. China is already at the superpower level in the economic, political and technological spheres. As for the United States, they are tired of their leadership role and are gradually abandoning it. Because of this, transatlantic ties and the global world order are at stake.

Fisher notes that now there are two central areas in the world: development of artificial intelligence and control over big data. Those countries that do not make significant progress in these areas will become dependent on other states. According to Fisher, in the 21st century, sovereignty will be determined not by nuclear weapons, but by digital technologies.

In this context, the position of Europe is very weak, Fisher believes: the consequences of the digital revolution have become a bolt from the blue for the Old World. At the moment, there is practically no digital enterprise in the EU that can compete with firms from the USA and China.

Therefore, the most important tasks of the European Commission and the EU member states are the implementation of the digital revolution and the protection of European technological sovereignty, writes Fisher. The future of the economic welfare of Europe depends on the solution of these problems. Fisher emphasizes that now almost all manufacturing industries are affected by digitalization, and therefore, control over data is crucial.


photo@ Rock Cohen via flickr

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