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Applying an intergenerational mindset to European technology investments

Fabian Zuleeg

Date: 21/11/2022
Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine and the upcoming winter of discontent have accelerated the permacrisis, with serious consequences, not just in the short term, but also for Europe’s future. If the EU proves unable to work together and address today’s strategic challenges, member states risk leaving future generations with a Europe that is economically, politically, and socially fragmented and constrained.

But this is not the moment for defeatism. Rather, the EU should adopt an intergenerational approach across all policy areas, asking: how will our reactions to today’s severe challenges affect future generations?

This should include a common investment strategy: to counter our common societal challenges and crises, the EU should invest in technology and education, increasing Europe’s human and intellectual capital. However, despite technology’s prominence in the EU political agenda, the Union still struggles to make decisive steps to achieve global leadership in many areas.

This Discussion Paper argues that the EU should have access to and control over new technologies to guarantee that these “public goods” are, at least in part, in common ownership. Taking equity stakes in technology should be at the heart of the European Sovereignty Fund, announced by Ursula von der Leyen in her 2022 State of the Union speech. Additionally, member states should work together to create a better environment for future private investment by harnessing the power of the Single Market and completing the Capital Markets Union.

By adopting this intergenerational mindset, the EU can start the process of building technological wealth which will be accessible to everyone and help tackle Europe’s fundamental challenges. This new investment strategy will offer hope and ensure that the EU can provide peace, prosperity, and sustainability for the current and, more importantly, future generations.

Read the full paper here.
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