At times, it may seem that the EU is primarily profiling itself as the regulator of new technologies, while others, such as the US and China, are making the corresponding inventions and doing business with them. According to a report by the Financial Times, rules are currently being worked on that are intended to limit facial recognition in public spaces. Specifically, it deals with regulations for dealing with artificial intelligence. The original is apparently still at a very early stage. It is only one example.
For some time Brussels has been struggling for (additional) taxation of (American) Internet companies. In the spring, the EU has launched a highly controversial revision of copyright that seeks to adapt its provisions to the digital age. In addition, the so-called General Data Protection Regulation, which has now been in force for more than a year, is developing into the “global gold standard” in this area.
It is not to be overlooked that the corresponding laws and regulations primarily affect companies from the USA. Europe has comparatively few large technology companies. Unsurprisingly, US President Donald Trump has taken individual initiatives – such as the planned digital taxes of France and the UK, throughout the EU, the necessary unity could not be achieved – regarded as an affront.
For example, privacy issues may well be justified. Nevertheless, it remains to be hoped that the EU – especially with the new Commission President Ursula von der Leyen – will not forget to make life easier for innovative companies, and to remove barriers to them instead of constantly building new ones. Otherwise, in the worst case, the EU threatens to be a regulator of the inventions of others.