The EU’s internal market Commissioner Thierry Breton said the bloc must ensure that Europe’s own companies are the ones capitalizing on data generated within its borders.

During a conference in Germany, he said the Commission is working on creating harmonized rules that define how EU companies can work with digital information: “My ambition is that European data will be used for European companies in priority, for us to create value in Europe”.

“I will be extremely clear on the rules that we will apply on companies and entities processing our data in Europe”, he promised.

The EU has been working on boosting its digital competitiveness. Recently, Breton pointed out that in order to not fall behind on its rivals, Europe needs to help its companies with their production and management of industrial data. He also said that the EU lacks common standards and sufficient technology to exploit the information. For example, some EU states’ health records are still not digitalised.

He also spoke of the idea of 5G internet rollout amid increased security concerns. Breton believes that the ban of Chinese tech giant’s Huawei from its 5g launch will make the EU fall behind its competitors. Instead, he suggested tougher security rules than previous generations.

“Everybody is welcome in Europe, but more and more, we will issue clear rules and everybody will have to fulfill all of these rules” he explained.