The annual high-level forum ‘The State of the Union’ was held on 6-8 May in a hybrid format, with leading politicians, policymakers, academics and journalists convening to discuss some of the most pressing topics of our time.
European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager joined a panel discussion on the global battle over data to share her insights on digitalisation, innovation, the Single Market and the responsible use of data, among others.
Speaking on the global battle over data and whether the EU is in this battle, Vestager noted:
“As we speak, data is being created everywhere, and since Europe is such an industrial continent, a continent where we now digitalise everything […], we harvest data all the time. With that data we can do better: we can innovate more, we can build stronger businesses and of course we can also use this data to fight climate change.”
“This is a global matter because we are also in a geopolitical context, where we have both systemic rivalry, economic competition, but also the need for partnerships. How we deal with data, how we enable it to flow once we trust it but how we also retain it […], that is what we have ahead of us”, she continued, mentioning legislation and practical implementation as some of the considerations to keep in mind.
Vestager also highlighted the importance of not seeing Europe as lagging behind when compared with other geopolitical actors, as we have, for example, a vibrant start-up and innovation culture. However, future challenges should not be ignored either, she said:
“The challenge ahead of us is to make sure that data is being pooled, shared and used for the better. […] We need to do things specifically to match the European economic context and make the most of it.”
To watch the session with Margrethe Vestager, click here or view below.
To rewatch all sessions, visit here
Photo credit: European Union 2021 - EP/Alain Rolland