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How can Europe become a leader in data economy?

GDPR paved the way for more privacy and security online but Europe is still falling behind on digital development. How can we make sure big data redeems its promise of a better tomorrow? Sitra is working on a roadmap together with Lisbon Council to make this happen.


Heli Nissinen

Senior Lead, Communications and Public Affairs


Europe is falling behind in digital development and data economy, with the US and China pulling further ahead in development of new data-driven technologies. At the same time, the optimistic halo surrounding the digital revolution has diminished.

Citizens are also growing more concerned: they have little control over how their data is used and monetised primarily for advertising purposes. The headlines speak of digital disruption and lost jobs, information bubbles and hacking democracy.

One year after the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation GDPR, Europe faces a dilemma. Europe can regulate data markets – Europe now has the toughest privacy standards in the world – but where are Europe’s data markets? The continent still struggles to produce data-driven companies of world-market leading size capable of delivering the digital-era jobs to European societies that so badly need them or facilitate the consumer and scientific breakthroughs that many have predicted “big data” will eventually bring.

What can be done about this?

Sitra is working together with its partners to frame a new model of European data economy and bring the concept into public debate. The purpose of this policy brief is to build new roadmap and concrete actions through which Europe will take leadership in the data economy. The earliest stages of this vision is being discussed today in Brussels at a high-level workshop: Beyond GDPR and the roadmap in a form of a policy brief will be published later this spring.

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