European companies launch a petition for the dismissal of von der Leyen's Commission and its replacement with a new team focusing on Europe's digital strategic autonomy
The European Union under von der Leyen's Commission is recurringly taking decisions that weaken Europe's digital strategic autonomy. In a time of increasing technological competition between the US and China, of major economic and geopolitical challenges due to AI, and of the increased importance of digital capacities on the battlefield, the current European Commission appears neither to consider strategic autonomy as a priority for Europe nor to become a geopolitical actor on equal footing.
We urge its replacement with a new team focusing on Europe's digital strategic autonomy because we believe in a strong Europe which leverages its existing industrial capabilities.
The recent decision to pick Fiona Scott Morton, a US citizen and former lobbyist working for U.S. Big Tech such as Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft, as Europe's chief competition economist, demonstrates the inability of the current Commission to address the need to protect Europe's digital strategic autonomy.
This decision comes after other decisions that harm European software and cloud industrials:
- The EU-US data protection framework, largely a copy of the "Privacy Shield", opens Europe's digital market to U.S. suppliers without addressing the fundamental problems for EU citizens' data privacy.
- The Europe Cyber Resilience Act and the reform of the Product Liability Directive add immense financial constraints to hundreds of European open-source software vendors which are currently essential to Europe's digital strategic autonomy.
- The AI Act creates enormous bureaucratic constraints at the core of the software development process and breaks the virtuous circle of open-source collaboration.
- The NIS2 directive adds unpredictable bureaucratic processes to European cloud providers.
By simplifying access for U.S. suppliers to the European market and by introducing at the same time new constraints for European suppliers, the European Union is increasing Europe's digital strategic dependence rather than Europe's digital strategic autonomy. European companies and jobs are already leaving the EU to benefit from a more welcoming business environment.
This situation is a collective failure of the European Commission rather than the failure of a single person. President von der Leyen, Commissioner Breton, and Commissioner Vestager are collectively responsible. Their main mistake is to recurringly ignore the thousands of European companies that can already provide digital strategic autonomy to Europe and to take decisions that will hamper them. By hiring as chief economist a strong believer that "big companies are efficient", they drive Europe further away from leveraging its essence as a union of diversities.
We, therefore, urge European governments to name a new team of Commissioners focusing on Europe's digital strategic autonomy, based on an inclusive ecosystem of European companies that develop world-leading digital technologies. Their growth needs to be supported rather than hindered.
We encourage all European companies to sign our petition in favour of Europe's digital strategic autonomy.
We encourage all other industries (automotive, pharmaceutical, energy, etc.) that are stifled by the current Commission yet believe in a strong and autonomous Europe to initiate a similar petition for their industry.
- Abilian (FR)
- Amarisoft (FR)
- Bluemind (FR)
- Innoroute (DE)
- Jamespot (FR)
- Linutronix (AT)
- Murena (FR)
- Netframe (FR)
- Nexedi (FR)
- Nitrokey (DE)
- Olimex (BG)
- Rapid.Space (FR)
- Vates (FR)
- Xwiki (FR)
In a time of increasing technological competition between the US and China, we need a new team at the European Commission focussing on strategic autonomy and capable of leveraging the thousands of European companies that can already provide digital strategic autonomy to Europe rather than a team taking decisions that hamper them.