EPP Chairman tells tech giants that Europe should act smart

PATRICK SEEGER

Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament Manfred Weber said: “Europe should no longer act as a fire extinguisher but as a smart global player. It is our objective that the European Union asserts itself as a community of values in an unsecure world. This would be the only way for Europe to stay competitive, also in a digital world,”

The Chairman of the European People’s Party (EPP), Manfred Weber, made a three-day visit in the Silicon Valley, in California.


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Europe should act as a smart global player, EPP Chairman Manfred Weber said during his talks with the Google, Facebook and Amazon representatives in California, US.

According to an EPP press release, Weber met in Silicon Valley with Google CEO Sundar Pichai and with representatives of Facebook, Amazon and Uber. According to the press release, Weber discussed about the antitrust case against Google but he also broadened the agenda and discussed about the financial models of the high-tech industry, and the European legislation which regulates the operation of the high-tech companies.

“Europe should no longer act as a fire extinguisher but as a smart global player. It is our objective that the European Union asserts itself as a community of values in an unsecure world. This would be the only way for Europe to stay competitive, also in a digital world,” the Chairman of the right-centre European political party told the representatives of the IT giants.

Webber was not only referring to the EU position on the digital economy, but about the challenges the EU faces today which according to EPP are the “migration, security, competitiveness, the stability of the Euro and…unemployment.” The German MEP, also member of the Christian Social Union, told to the executives that “everybody who wants to do business in Europe has to respect our rules.”

In a separate event at the Institute of European Studies at Berkeley University, in California, Webber repeated that what the world needs is a smarter Europe. “We don’t need more or less Europe but a smarter Europe…A smarter Europe needs more identity, based on a culture of common values, more implementation capacities and has to deliver better results…And a smarter Europe needs a new ambition: assertiveness, especially as concerns the economy, security and cultural traditions.”

EPP’s position on the taxation of the digital economy is that the European Commission needs to “define points of reference for taxation of digital content and services, in accordance with the EU Digital Single Market Strategy.”

 

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