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Has Europe given up on tech?
The continent's harsh approach to tech regulation will prevent them from ever competing with Silicon Valley
This week I’m in Foreign Policy, with an essay about Europe’s tech regulation and how it harms their competitiveness. I’ve posted a small excerpt here, with a link to the full article! If you run into a paywall, private/incognito mode usually works to view the article.
In July, the European Commission released a new strategy agenda for the so-called metaverse. The metaverse is a broad grouping of immersive virtual reality worlds, where everything from work to gaming to socializing could take place. It’s widely seen as a giant flop right now, with only a handful of users registered even on the most popular platforms like Meta’s Horizon Worlds, and few practical applications.
Still, many in the industry are convinced the metaverse will dominate tech’s future, and it’s no surprise that states are jockeying for influence. But as with other technologies, Europe doesn’t seem capable of—or even interested in—leading in the actual technology around the metaverse. Instead, it is interested in leading the policy discussion, or the regulation of that new technology.
That’s a common dynamic on the continent…