– March 28, 2019
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European governments – apparently completely OK with the idea of being run by a centralized bureaucracy – seem content with the idea of keeping the Continent in the dark ages. But as they continue to go after technology and foreign innovators with a series of stiff regulations and record fines, Europeans themselves seem oblivious of what is going on, as they, too, seem just as happy about the suffocating regulations.

Whether governments are going after scooters, targeting Google for selling advertising space, or limiting consumers’ data access, it seems that not even Europeans’ eroding trust in government is enough to get them to rally against stifling innovation. Still, tech fights on.

With major tech companies struggling to adapt to existing regulations, some are pleading with European officials to slow down. However, European citizens aren’t sympathetic to American firms.

A report from Spain’s IE University indicates that the tech revolution that is transforming the whole world is contributing to the “growing sense of insecurity and uncertainty among” European citizens.

Despite the obvious benefits to the European economy, Europeans want their government to keep the changes from causing too much of a stir. But this approach to the issue is hurting the Continent. And while certain countries seem somewhat friendly to tech, the majority lag behind. Needless to say, the regulatory burden imposed by the EU makes it hard for individual states to break free.

The result of this mix of fear and centralized power is now evident, as European countries are lagging behind on producing their own technology and failing to compete with foreign companies. And as regulators further restrict innovators already in operation, one can only wonder how much more difficult it must be for entrepreneurs to enter the market.

Are citizens willing to see their economy shrink while the rest of the world mocks their lack of vision? Perhaps. But to what end?

Unless individual countries are able to develop their own approach to the technology issue, European countries will continue to suffer under the centralized bureaucracy of the European Union.

Decentralize or Die

The European Union insists that its existence helps to keep the Continent open to trade, open to immigrants, and free of oppression, all claims that do not live up to the hype as these reports of a stifling regulatory environment prove.

In order to help bring about real freedom, European citizens must face reality. Leaving the utopian idea of a centralized government behind is the only way to help these unique states with unique histories and cultural heritage better deal with their own problems.

Technology might be a hot-button issue to some European countries, but not all have the same approach to regulation — even if the majority of citizens appear to fear tech disruption. Centralization makes it more difficult for these separate states to figure out what is best locally, precisely because they end up swearing their loyalty to the centralized bureaucracy, not their own citizens.

In order to help fix the Continent’s problems, individual countries should strongly consider breaking up. Only then will they better gauge whether closing off the tech market is, indeed, what’s best for them. Unfortunately, with all the fear mongering coming from anti-Brexit forces, it’s still difficult to see European states finally revolting against the tyranny of a centralized rule.

Will this push to keep Europe in the technological dark ages finally change this sentiment?

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Chloe Anagnos

Chloe Anagnos Chloe Anagnos is AIER’s Publications Manager. She is a writer and digital marketer and has been an AIER contributor since 2017. Her work has been the subject of articles in FOX News, USA Today, CNN Money, and WIRED. She has been a writer, commentator, and panelist for media outlets around the country on subjects like political marketing, campaigning, and social media. Follow @ChloeAnagnos.
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