2024: A Year of Great Political Momentum Through the Lens of Tech Policy Advisors
The global west is preparing for great political momentum with elections coming up in the European Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom, over the next year. Europe’s political future will be shaped by both internal and external political dynamics, with far-reaching implications for the EU political agenda, policy decisions and business environment.
EU Leadership Race
At the EU level, the leadership race starts with the European Parliamentary elections in June 2024, followed by the appointment of the new European Commission President and successive Member State nominations for the College of European Commissioners and a final election at the end of 2024 for the European Council President. In addition, several Member States will also hold national elections, further reshaping the political landscape of the EU institutions. Overall, latest forecasts indicate a gradual political shift to the right.
Advocacy opportunities are also poised for a ripple of changes. In the immediate future, the balance of political attention will tilt from policymaking towards geopolitical debates and campaigning, as candidates compete for leadership positions. This will pave the way for a new era of engagement, where understanding the policy inclinations of the new leaders and building robust relationships will be essential. Thought leadership and proactive issue management should be front and centre of advocacy strategies, as this is the time to influence on the priorities of the next EU political term.
The EU Tech Landscape in a Nutshell
Over the past years, the tech sector has seen a growth boom and, in parallel, has faced issues around trust, with an avalanche of regulatory response. At the same time, tech is celebrated as part of the solution to many of Europe’s problems, be it the green transition, innovation in health care and revolutionizing the future of work, among others. Tech has also become highly politicized as it is key to national and economic security, and it is central for Europe’s path to global competitiveness.
Against this background, we see these top 10 trends for the next EU political term:
- A geopolitical Union. The reorganisation of the global landscape, polarisation of global political powers and several other factors have led to an increased geo-politicisation of even technical policy decisions, which is expected to continue and strengthen.
- Global competitiveness. Tech is central to EU ambitions for global competitiveness, as it has the power to accelerate economic growth and success in delivering on strategic objectives, including the green transition.
- Tech at the heart of defence and national security. Cybersecurity has become central to defence as a response to cyberattacks and cyber espionage, and the fight against disinformation has intensified—countering foreign interference with democratic EU processes—just to mention a few.
- Supply chain security. The EU continues to diversify supply chains and reduce dependencies in strategic resources for the digital and green transition. The trend is underlined by the EU Chips Act, the Critical Raw Materials Act, and the EU Economic Security Strategy with the recently released list of critical technologies, including semiconductors, AI, quantum technologies and biotechnologies.
- Implementation and standards development. A mass of tech legislation has been adopted over the past years and the focus will shift towards implementation, as is the case for the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act, and the development of standards and certifications around areas such as AI and cybersecurity.
- Green tech and the green transition. The EU Green Deal will continue to shape the EU’s economy and policy priorities. This is reflected in the continued flow of sustainability policy proposals and the drive to support green tech through investment, funding, and public demand.
- Digital health and mobility. The digitalisation of traditional industries, including health and mobility, is also a priority. EU health and mobility data spaces, currently in the making, should help accelerate innovation in these fields. New mobility solutions and electric vehicles are becoming a contentious topic especially in global trade as the EU attempts to counter non-EU competition.
- Global race for leadership in (regulating) AI. The EU intends to become a global leader in AI. The EU AI Act is a pioneer in regulating AI and it is nearing adoption; however, the EU will not stop there. The intention is to form a global alliance with a focus on ethical and human-centred AI.
- A European vision for the metaverse. The EU is taking a proactive approach to shaping the future of the metaverse through its recent EU Commission communication on virtual worlds. The European vision focuses on fair competition, open standards, interoperability, and user safety.
- Intellectual Property. Litigation over Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) has been a long-standing issue in Europe and globally. Recent EU proposals, including the SEPs Regulation, have unleashed intense lobbying efforts from both the side of patent holders and users, which is expected to continue in the next term.
What Does This Mean for You?
The social and regulatory environment is changing in Europe, and this is especially true for the tech sector. Tech organisations and interest representatives are responding to the increasingly high expectations from the public and from the authorities. We are looking at a unique opportunity to engage in a conversation about Europe’s future and the political agenda.
This is a great time to be forward looking, to think about the strategic priorities of your organisation and to consider how these fit in the wider context of the European political landscape. Raising awareness, building strategic relationships, and forming new partnerships around your key issues can set your advocacy goals up for success in the next EU policy term.
Reach out to us to have a chat about the future of Europe, your political priorities and to learn more about how Trilligent can help you achieve your goals.