If Europe Opens Up and Innovates, It Can Create More Jobs

europe phone

BRUSSELS — In 2006, Spotify began as a highly successful European start-up. However, the company would have been stone dead by now if it hadn’t made the decision in 2011 to expand to the United States.

Large parts of Spotify’s profits are taxed in the U.S., and a lot of jobs moved across the Atlantic while Europe has been standing idly by. Spotify is but one of many European inventions of which the Americans reap the benefits.

This exodus is dramatic if you consider the staggering youth unemployment in Europe: in some member states almost 50 percent of young people are out of a job or training. The lion’s share of the sluggish European job creation occurs in companies that were established before 1950, while in the United States it is newly founded companies like Uber and Airbnb that are creating new jobs. But this does not need to be an inevitability. According to the European Commission itself, we could create almost 900,000 new jobs if we would tear down the national borders that currently divide our 28 digital markets.

It’s not just start-ups that suffer from a lack of unity in the European digital and telephony market. Also consumers fall victim to it. Everybody who crosses the border from one member state to the other — and that happens quite often in our geographically little continent — knows that your telephone and data traffic falls out. The software for your smartphone must first pick up the signal of the other national carrier before you can resume your phone call.

European technology and Internet companies are stuck in national straitjackets.

European technology and Internet companies are stuck in national straitjackets. We have 28 national regulators ruling little fiefdoms and 28 ministries of finance —> Read More