Brussels (Brussels Morning) European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addressed today the high-profile Web Summit, which brings together various stakeholders looking to re-define the global tech industry.
In her speech, von der Leyen said that “science and technology have the power to make our lives better” and “technology can save lives”.
The Commission’s president emphasised the incredible value that the tech sector has for the European economy: “In 2020 alone, the value of European tech companies has risen by almost 50%. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst and an accelerator of change. In the last five years, the value of European tech companies has quadrupled”.
During the virtual Web Summit, von der Leyen talked about the EU’s digital goals and shared her vision for a digital Europe.
“We want to bring the benefits of the digital transformation to all people and regions in Europe. I want Europe to be a place where innovators can thrive. A place where start-ups can grow into giants. And a place where young talents can bring their ideas to life”, she said.
She also referred to the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act, which will create a single baseline set of rules for all digital businesses, and re-set the rulebook for the digital market.
“I want that the values we cherish in the offline world are also respected online. These rules will tackle concrete online harms: from selling unsafe products, to sharing someone’s personal data without consent, to spreading illegal hate speech”, said the Commission’s chief.
She further highlighted that “across the European Union there will be one set of core digital rules”, making sure we have a true European Digital Single Market, based on fair competition and a level playing field.
This year, the Web Summit is being held virtually with a number of EU Commissioners sharing their views.
Internal Market Commissioner talked about the European digital economy, Green Deal Commissioner Timmermans centered on the future of Europe, emphasizing its green ambitions and Health Commissioner Kyriakides shared words about collaboration in times of crisis.