In the not-so-distant past, there was (or is?) a perception that the EU was all about putting obstacles in place for successful (big) tech companies based outside Europe. Whilst the EU continues to leverage its robust regulatory and market power against those companies —the so-called “Brussels effect”— (see, for example, the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act), the EU is now also very much looking to become a tech superpower in its own right. It only takes a quick read of the recent blog posts of the EU Commissioner for Internal Market Mr Breton to realize that it is now all about EU domestic “strategic autonomy” or “technological sovereignty” by proposing far-reaching regulations such as the EU Chips Act (semiconductors made in Europe), the Cyber Resilience Act (cybersecurity product standards), and the hotly debated Artificial Intelligence Act. Whilst these acts surely have an internal dimension to stimulate local R&D and manufacturing, their scope demonstrates clearly that the EU is once again also looking at regulating foreign companies doing business in Europe. Companies better plan for impact.
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